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?
Bob Stollings Award presented to 35 year veteran of service to the City of Red Deer
City of Red Deer Bob Stollings Award winner announced
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.”
Brittany Lausen receives RDC Foundation Outstanding Student Award
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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