So, how to make sure you’re not paying more than 32 cents an hour? Be on a competitive contract rather than the RRO.
Most Albertans aren’t paying the regulated rate; according to Market Surveillance Administrator, only 35 per cent of Alberta residences aren’t on some sort of electricity contracts, which insulate from higher prices. But Edmonton is behind the curve; the numbers show there are nearly 183,000 customers on the RRO rate, and nearly 216,000 on contracts (close to a 45-55 split).
So, the adoption of contracts in Edmonton is well behind what you’d see in Calgary or other parts of the province.
Redmond says that many people are afraid when they hear the word “contract” and hesitate to go into a program that could greatly reduce their power bills. She said that Encor by EPCOR’s plan could save more than $120 on the August bill alone for an average household. And, contracts are portable — they can move with you — and you’re not locked into them.
MacDonald says that consumers need to be aware that contracts are great when prices are historically high, but it can be better to be an RRO customer when prices are low. So, he says Albertans need to know that it takes just 30 days notice to get out of an energy contract, with no penalty. If you’re on the RRO rate and want to move onto a contract, there is no waiting period.
“Knowing this, you can always shop around for the most competitive product out there,” he says.
And, there are multiple contract providers doing business in Edmonton, and they all may have different rates. So, the message from MacDonald is to do your homework. Shop around.