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Grande Prairie City Council to push for equal electricity distribution and transmission rates this fall

Grande Prairie City Council has started the process of pushing for lower electricity and distribution rates for people in the area.

City Councillor Dylan Bressey says this is something that needs to be addressed, as it has been a long standing issue in the region for a long time.

“Our residents and businesses pay more than their fair share for electricity, distribution, and transmission. In most provinces, those costs are equalized across the province,” Bressey says.

“Here in Alberta, ATCO residents need to pay for all the costs to get electricity into our more northern areas. We on Grande Prairie city council don’t think that’s fair, we don’t think it’s good for the environment, or the economy.”

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Bressey, who also serves as the director of the board for cities up to 500,000 people at Alberta Municipalities, says that council members have actively been engaging MLA’s and cabinet ministers on the issue. He says the next step will be to take the idea to the Alberta Municipalities conference this fall in hopes of getting the members to endorse this so it remains an official advocacy position.

“There was a similar resolution that was brought by Drumheller in 2019 but that resolution has expired, so we thought we should bring another one before a convention,” he says.

Bressey feels that the high utility fees are crushing both Grande Prairie families and businesses.

“This isn’t just about more equity for Grande Prairie residents, it’s also about what’s better for all Albertans. When the places in Alberta where resources are developed have way higher rates than the rest of the province, that drives investment out of Alberta,” he explains.

“Also, micro generation is a key part of us getting away from carbon intensification. Transmission and distribution fees make it cost prohibitive for a lot of people to do micro generation. Again, the arrangement we have now is bad for the environment, bad for the economy and unfair.”

Over the next couple of months, the Alberta Municipalities board will review the action up until September, when members will officially vote on it. It already is a priority, but Bressey and other council members want to make sure it remains that way for the organization.

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