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Are low electrical bills inviting a National Electricity Strategy?


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Is it time to have or implement a National Electrical Strategy?

I live in Red Deer, a small city in Central Alberta. My electrical bill last month was $95.

The average household, according to Google, in Canada uses 972 KWHs monthly, but I used 848 KWHs last month, so if I had been an average user then my bill would have been $109.

My electrical bill shows that my electrical use cost only $32.40 while administration cost $6.99, distribution cost $25.90 transmission fees cost $23.86, include access fees, rate riders and balancing pool allocations and GST and my bill came to $95.

Talk of carbon taxes, green energy would increase my energy costs. Fine, increasing my energy costs by 10% would mean an increase of only $3.24 because all the other charges should not go up. Changing fuel or supply should not affect administrators, power lines, poles or switches.

I started requesting electric bills from homes in other parts of Alberta and the costs varied from 3.75/ kwh to 5.99/kwh and the other costs varied in name and amount for varying total costs per kwh from 11.7 to 15.75/kwh. So at 848 kwh my bill would go from $95 up to $133.56 depending on location.

Alberta is deregulated and you have options of providers. Floating and fixed rates, but the other fees are always added.

A home in Vancouver showed an average 11.37/kwh so my bill would be $96.50, very similar to my Alberta bill. Vancouver is vastly different and denser market. Vancouver has 5,249 people per km. or 2100 homes per square km.

Alberta has a population of 4,252,879 people in 640,081.87 sq. kms. For a density of 6.7 people per square km. or 2.7 homes per square km. So you would think that the costs would be astronomically higher to compensate for the vast distances, and the increased wiring, poles, and installation of such, but apparently not.

So I thought about Ontario. Population of 13,982.984 in 908,607 square kms of land. 15.4 people or 6.2 homes per square kms. More than twice the density of Alberta. The transmission and distribution costs should be equal to or less than sparsely populated Alberta. I started requesting power bills from home owners in Ontario, especially in rural Ontario.

The first bill came from Winchester, 40 kms. from Ottawa. It showed a monthly usage of 661.24 KWHs. Energy costs varied from 8.7/kwh of low peak to 18/kwh during high peak for energy cost of $79.06. Add in delivery charge of $65.41, regulatory fees and HST and the bill comes to $164.96. Or 25/kwh. My current bill would now be $211.55 if I lived in Winchester.

The second bill came from a family outside Chesterville. It showed higher usage, perhaps because of location, age of appliances or lifestyle. Energy use of 1281 KWHs for a bill of $278.93 or 22/kwh. My bill would then be $184.65 if I lived outside Chesterville.

Albertans get their power from natural gas (44%), coal (39%) and even hydro (6%) while Ontario get their power from Nuclear, (66%) and Hydro (22%) But in Alberta, we are expecting increases in our power bills due to carbon taxes, green initiatives and the new power lines being built to the southern border. Paid for by current users to provide power south of the border. Ontario has some similar changes and challenges ahead to incur expectations of increased costs. Is this proper?

Alberta is only 70% the size of Ontario, our population is only 30% of Ontario, yet Alberta power bills are substantially lower. Capitalists will tell you that larger markets like Ontario, means lower costs, as one would also expect with increased density as in this case, Ontario.

Alberta deregulated the electrical sector increasing competition. Would that help or exasperate the problem in Ontario? Should the vast majority of urban homes subsidize the rural users? Should a standard rate be applied to all in Ontario?

To recap with averages of 972 KWHs per home per month it would cost $110.61 in Vancouver B.C., $108.90 in Red Deer Ab., $242.48 in Winchester Ont. And $211.65 in Chesterville Ont. Definitely not a level playing field, is it?

Is it time for the Federal Government to create a National Electrical Strategy? We could at least study on it.

What do you think?


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City of Red Deer

Bob Stollings Award presented to 35 year veteran of service to the City of Red Deer

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City of Red Deer Bob Stollings Award winner announced

Each year, The City of Red Deer is proud to celebrate the hard work and dedication of our staff through the annual Employee Recognition Awards. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, how the awards were handed out looked a lot different this year. Awards were personally delivered to each recipient rather than at an evening awards banquet.The awards celebrate long-term service employees and offers special recognition for those who have excelled in innovation, environmental stewardship and exceptional growth.The most anticipated award of the year is the Bob Stollings Memorial Award. This award was established by City Council in 1985 and is presented every year to honour Robert (Bob) E. Stollings, a loyal and dedicated employee of The City of Red Deer from 1960 to 1984. The recipient of this award has displayed outstanding civic performance in alignment with The City’s Cornerstone Values – Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence. Nominations are submitted by fellow coworkers detailing the employee’s achievements professionally and interpersonally, along with letters of support.

We are proud to announce this year’s Bob Stollings Memorial Award recipient is Char Rausch. She is the Corporate Events Specialist, but has held many roles within The City throughout her more than 35 years of service. From her time with the RCMP, Mayor and City Manager’s Office, Legislative Services and now with Corporate Communications, Char has always brought her dedication to community and never-ending energy, to her work.

“Those who know Char, know the passion, commitment to excellence, and complete care she puts into everything she does,” says Tracy Bruce, Human Resources Manager. “More than 35 years of service, Char has lived our corporate values and we are happy to celebrate her accomplishments by presenting her with the Bob Stollings Award.”


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Brittany Lausen receives RDC Foundation Outstanding Student Award 

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Providing advocacy and leadership for all students 

Student leadership and commitment are being celebrated at Red Deer  College, as Brittany Lausen is announced as the RDC Foundation Outstanding Student Award  recipient for 2021. 

The annual award recognizes a student whose actions have significantly enhanced RDC, whether  through governance, membership on committees or other meaningful contributions. Lausen was  nominated by her peers to receive the honour again this year due to her immense contributions to  student leadership at RDC and far beyond. 

“It’s very humbling to receive this award, and I am truly grateful for all the opportunities that being a  part of the Students’ Association and Red Deer College have provided, allowing me to be as involved  as I have been,” Lausen says. “I’m also very grateful to the amazing student leaders who I have  gotten to work with over the past six years, since I first became involved with the Education  Undergrad Society.” 

Lausen’s leadership has evolved and grown during her time at RDC, as she has played a key role on  the Students’ Association Executive Team, serving as the VP Community & Wellness in 2018/2019  and as President for the past two years. She has also been on RDC’s Academic Council for three  years and has served as a student representative on RDC’s Board of Governors since 2019, in  addition to myriad other volunteering, committees and initiatives at the College. 

“Red Deer College is fortunate to have Brittany as one of our students, and the RDC Foundation is  pleased to provide her with the outstanding student award for 2021,” says Kevin Beattie, RDC  Foundation Board Chair. “Her continuing dedication and commitment to her fellow students and to the  College exemplifies why she is so deserving of the award. Brittany’s selfless hard work in representing and advocating on behalf of her peers and also the College benefits the entire RDC  community. We can think of no better candidate to receive the RDC Foundation Outstanding Student  Award.” 

In addition to Lausen’s work and leadership at RDC, she has also dedicated time to representing  students across the province. Through her role with the Students’ Association, she became part of  the Alberta Students’ Executive Council (ASEC), where – as the longest serving student leader in the  province – she was unanimously elected to be Chair in June 2020.  

For Lausen, it is important to engage in governance at the provincial level to influence policies and  affect change for future students. “It’s about what you, as a student leader, can do to make sure that  the students who come after you have the best time possible in post-secondary,” she says. “To me, it  is so meaningful knowing that the advocacy you do today will potentially impact the lives of future  students for years to come.” 

Through her province-wide perspective, Lausen also recognized a need for Western Canadian  students to be better represented at the federal level. As part of her work with ASEC, she was elected  to sit as one of the founding members of the Federal Student Advocacy Alliance. This Alliance, representing ASEC, BC Federation of Students and Sask Polytechnic Students’ Association, allows  students from the three western provinces to have a greater voice in advocacy issues at the national  level.  

From national to local issues, Lausen has tirelessly worked to benefit the student experience. During  her most recent term as Students’ Association President, she takes great pride in how the SA  Executive and Council advocated for degrees, ensuring that the students of RDC and the people of  central Alberta’s voices were heard. Lausen, herself, also had the opportunity to be part of Alberta  2030, the post-secondary review led by the Government of Alberta. She represented students from  across Alberta and was able to bring the RDC students’ perspective to the province’s new post secondary strategic direction.  

“Brittany has continually demonstrated strong leadership in representing post-secondary students at  all levels,” says Dr. Peter Nunoda, RDC President. “In her two years on RDC’s Board of Governors  and through her work with the Students’ Association, I have gained a great appreciation for her  collaborative approach and also her determination to do what is best for students at RDC and for  post-secondary students across the province. During her time at RDC, she gained a strong understanding of governance and student needs, and that has served RDC’s students well for many  years.”  

Now, as Lausen looks to the future, she is excited to graduate in April 2022 with her Bachelor of  Business Administration in General Management, with minors in Finance and Economics, from  RDC’s collaborative degree with Mount Royal University. She is currently interning with Amazon and  hopes to accept a position with the company pending completion of her degree. She is also looking to  continue her educational journey by attaining a Master’s degree, either in Public Policy or Public  Administration, which would build on her extensive experience in leadership and governance. 

When she reflects on her time at RDC, she is thankful for the privilege to serve students. “I am so  grateful to the students of Red Deer College for trusting me for the past three years to be one of their  elected representatives,” she says. “It has truly made my time at post-secondary, and it is something I  will miss dearly.”  

About the RDC Foundation Outstanding Student Award: This scholarship is given to a student  who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment through participation in and  contribution to Red Deer College. The student may have participated in governance and/or College  committees, social or athletic activities while on campus. The scholarship is donated by the Red Deer  College Foundation.

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june, 2021

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