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Residential Energy Rates in Alberta: What to Do? May 2014 Edition

Quick Take:

  • Gas:
  • Direct Energy REGULATED Services. This is the default so there is no retailer rate.
  • Electricity:

Natural Gas

The best options for gas and electricity are becoming clearer this month for residential users, even with a new option from Enmax. For natural gas, we do not recommend you get into a fixed rate as all of the offers we’ve reviewed so far are very poor. None are better than $5.79/GJ (compared to the average of $4.00/GJ we’ve seen for our clients recently). We recommend staying on the Direct Energy Regulated Service (DERS). If you aren’t with them now, you will automatically go there if you terminate your current gas contract. Make sure there are no termination fees and keep in mind that there may also be a small enrollment fee to get on with DERS.

Electricity

Electricity has seen many ups and downs over the last few months and even over the last few years. Because of this, we recommend getting into a fixed rate. The rates available right now are not too bad and the best ones can be found at the Utility.net group of boutique electricity retailers. Consumers can easily browse and compare rates offered by available electricity service providers at www.theelectricityshop.com. Gain peace of mind knowing that these fixed contracts can be cancelled without penalty at any time.

Solution 105 Recommendations for Electricity:

Before reading on to see our recommendation for electricity rates, it’s important to know that we are referring to commodity rates and costs, so the cost of the actual electricity itself. Regulated fees and other delivery charges that you will see on your bill are not included in the commodity rates mentioned below. On average, a household might use around 9000 kWh and over 100 GJ over a year.

  1. NRG Power has the lowest offering at 6.90 cents per kWh. They serve Calgary and Fortis territories, but not Edmonton. For Senior users, Adagio Energy has the best rates with a senior’s (65+) rate of 6.95 cents per kWh, and a regular rate of 7.10 cents per kWh available to all other residential users.

Enmax has a new Choose Free option. This will give you four years of electricity at 8.49 cents per kWh and one year for 0 cents per kWh. As a strict average, that leads to a rate of about 6.80 cents per kWh and although this is the best rate available right now, we see two things that hold us from moving ahead with it. First, you must also sign up for gas with Enmax and their gas rates are not attractive enough for us to make the move. Second, you are locked in for five years whereas the other options described can be terminated with short notice and without fees.

If you are currently on an old EasyMax contract at 8.0 cents per kWh, a move to Adagio Energy would save you around $81 a year, plus another $14 a year on administration fees. EasyMax’s does have a bundle option where they give you $100 back every year, but it doesn’t make much of a difference with their current $0.99/GJ transaction fee for gas. If you are ready to make the jump from your EasyMax service to Adagio Energy, feel free to tell them mitchell@solution105.com sent you. For those that were on Bow Valley Power’s 7.15 cents per kWh rate it is probably not worth the hassle to change to Adagio Energy for the $4.50 of savings per year.

Commercial Electricity Users

If you are not a residential user and are interested in rates for medium to large commercial use please give Solution 105 a call. We have seen pricing for larger users in the low 6 cent per kWh range (and sometimes sub 6 cents), which we think is excellent.

Contact Solution 105 today!