Gateway Gazette

Town of Okotoks Secures Favourable Bulk Electricity Rate

The Town of Okotoks recently conducted a competitive bid process for Okotoks future electricity needs with six pre-qualified suppliers and ended up securing an electricity rate below current wholesale prices.

Alberta Municipal Services Corporation, the current supplier for the Town, submitted the winning bid which begins in 2018. This will save The Town of Okotoks $121,560 annually (17%) based on current contract pricing, by lowering electricity supply costs for calendar years 2018, 2019 and 2020.

The reduction in electricity rates for the Town comes despite an expected increase in greenhouse gas emission penalties and a decline in low-cost coal-fired generation electricity sources, starting in 2018.

Alberta generates approximately 85% of its electricity from coal-fired plants, many of which are 40 to 50 years old. At those ages, many of the plants are nearing the end of their life-cycle. With the pending reduction in coal-fired plants, Albertans will have to rely more on gas-fired generation of electricity which is more expensive than its coal counterpart.

By getting a deal in place now, Okotoks will avoid increases in electricity costs until the end of 2020 when the contract expires.

As part of this energy supply agreement, the Town will be purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to offset 100% of its total annual electricity consumption. In 2014, this equated to adding 12,518 MWh of green power (primarily wind) to the grid and offsetting 11,016 tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to taking 2,159 cars off of the road for one year!

Okotoks Mayor Bill Robertson said he and Council were pleased with the bid process and reiterated how buying power now for use in three years yielded ‘a fantastic result.’

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