Frequently Asked Questions

WHY DOES MY ELECTRICITY RATE FLUCTUATE FROM MONTH TO MONTH?

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT FEES ON MY POWER BILL?

ESTIMATED READINGS vs ACTUAL READINGS

WHY IS MY ENERGY BILL HIGHER SOME MONTHS?

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO TRIM ALL TREES AND SHRUBS BENEATH MY POWER LINES?

IS THERE A CHARGE TO HAVE MY TREES OR SHRUBS TRIMMED?

WHAT DOES REGULATED RATE (RRO) MEAN?

 

WHY DOES MY ELECTRICITY RATE FLUCTUATE FROM MONTH TO MONTH?

Customers who do not sign a contract for electricity are served by a regulated rate provider (RRO). The regulated rate reflects the current market price, which fluctuates up and down on a monthly basis making prices less predictable for consumers. The regulated rate will have higher price volatility, which can result in price spikes from one month to the next.

Many of our Members see the benefit of having an energy rate that is consistent from month to month at the lowest price possible. This allows you to plan and budget accordingly every month. In light of this, NPP offers a STABLE rate which is regularly well below the RRO rate (Regulated Rate Option) which can fluctuate each month without warning. We open up this option to our members a few times a year.

Our Stable Rate guarantees you a fixed rate, at the lowest price we can offer, and still allows you the option of cancelling at anytime by simply providing us with notice. We can offer our members a low fixed Stable Rate because we have purchased energy hedges for many years at a time in advance. This rate will be the same or lower for as long as we have purchased that specific rate, or until our energy hedges run out and new hedges at a different rate are purchased. Even then, we would provide our Members with ample notice of the change and outline your options. This rate option is opened up to our members a few times a year and announced at our Annual General Meeting.

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WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT FEES ON MY POWER BILL?

Reading any utility bill can be a confusing task. Understanding what you are being charged for and who is charging you will help you direct any queries to the appropriate organization.

The following is a short description of the line items charged on your monthly NPP energy bill:

ENERGY FEE

This fee is charged by North Parkland Power REA directly to you. It represents the cost of electricity that you have consumed at a specific site location for that billing period. For details on energy uses and tips visit our Energy Savings page for ways to save on electricity.

OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE FEE

O&M fees that are charged each month to our Members represent the cost of building, maintaining and servicing all the poles, wires, meters, transformers owned by North Parkland Power. This fee is also directly related to the size of breaker you have on your site. The lower your breaker size, the lower your O&M Fee. The breaker size reflects how much electricity you are able to use. Contact us to help determine if you have the most economical breaker for your consumption.

RATE RIDER & WHOLESALE SETTLEMENT FEE

A rider is a temporary credit or fee charged by Fortis, approved by the AUC, and forwarded on to our members. Riders occur when the actual costs incurred by a utility to provide electricity service to their customers differ from their approved rates. Delivery rate riders are associated with distribution and transmission costs. Energy riders are no longer allowed, but the possibility of delivery rate riders still remains because distribution and transmission rates are often based on forecasted costs that may differ from actual costs.

TRANSMISSION CHARGE

This fee is charged to you by Fortis for the delivery of electricity from the point of energy generation to North Parkland Power. We in turn deliver the energy to your location. You can find further industry details at www.auc.ab.com or ucahelps.alberta.ca. For details on energy uses & tips, visit our Energy Savings page on our website for ways to save on electricity.

BALANCING POOL RIDER FEE

The Balancing Pool was established in 1999 by the Government of Alberta to help manage certain assets, revenues and expenses arising from the transition to competition in Alberta’s electric industry. Under provisions of the Electric Utilities Act, each year the Balancing Pool is required to forecast its revenues and expenses to determine any excess or shortfall of funds. These fees or credits are passed onto all Alberta energy consumers.

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ESTIMATED READINGS vs ACTUAL READINGS

On occasion your bill may appear to be higher due to a calculated estimate instead of an actual reading. Our meter reads are now performed through a digital reading done by air. If the airplane cannot fly due to bad weather conditions, we are unable to receive your actual reading. If this occurs, we calculate your usage based on a formula of averages during the same time of year. The actual reading will take place the following month and if there is a greater consumption than estimated, that amount is applied to the next invoice. To understand your consumption for the estimated month, add the estimated and actual invoices together then divide by two. You will usually see that it averages out to a typical month for that time of year.

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WHY IS MY ENERGY BILL HIGHER IN SOME MONTHS?

Your energy consumption is based on your electricity usage each month. In the winter months, your consumption increases due to a number of factors. Increase in heating, lights, and plugging in vehicles, etc. By observing how you use your electricity and following a few guidelines, you can decrease your consumption each month and save you money. Visit our Energy Savings page for ideas that may help save you money!

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WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO TRIM ALL TREES AND SHRUBS BENEATH MY POWER LINES?

Throughout the year, NPP’s Powerline Technicians are called upon to respond to power outages. These service calls range from a blown transformer to a burned down power pole due to vegetation coming too close to the power lines. In extreme situations, the poles have been close to a building or dwelling, which has also been affected or consumed by the fire. Not only can your personal property become affected by neglecting to trim overgrown trees that may touch a powerline, but it also affects all NPP members with unnecessary power outages and increased expenses. If you notice that trees are getting close to or touching a powerline, even if it’s not your property, contact our brushing crew. Provide us with the township and range road if possible. We will do a site visit and notify the land owners to obtain consent to trim or brush cut as needed. Proactive action can save time and money for everyone.

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IS THERE A CHARGE TO HAVE MY TREES OR SHRUBS TRIMMED?

NPP’s brushing crew are experienced certified UT Technicians. We will conduct the first trimming of overgrown vegetation beneath powerlines at no charge. Any requests thereafter will be charged based on our standard rates. Please feel free to contact us for an estimate or further details on our rates.

There is no charge at anytime to mow the vegetation to the ground. A site visit may be required to survey the vegetation growth.

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WHAT DOES REGULATED RATE (RRO) MEAN?

In Alberta, you can choose how you buy electricity. Customers who do not sign a contract with a competitive energy retailer and uses less than 250,000 kWh per year, are served by the regulated rate option (RRO). The regulated rate reflects the current market price per kilowatt hour (kWh), which fluctuates up and down on an hourly basis making prices less predictable for consumers. The regulated rate will have higher price volatility, which can result in price spikes from one month to the next. This rate is based on the cost of energy as released by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) and the Alberta Power Pool price that fluctuates on a monthly basis. Members on the RRO option will be advised of the cost per kWh on a monthly basis. The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) regulates Alberta’s investor-owned and municipally-owned utilities to ensure that customers receive electricity at a fair and reasonable rate.

More information can be found at the Utilities Consumer Advocate website.