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March 12th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 10
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Pass residents will feel
the pinch from transmission costs
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
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Powerlines - West Coleman
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
Pass residents will soon feel provincial growth pains as increasing power transmission rates are passed down to consumers.
On March. 4, Kevin Phillips, of Phillips Partners Inc. told council that increasing transmission charges coming from Fortis Alberta, mean the average municipal household may be spending another $5.72 on electricity per month. Businesses and other large consumers will be paying much more.
Phillips says the costs are coming from the need to build transmission infrastructure. He says these include high voltage lines and transmission towers that connect power plants to distribution facilities.
He says Alberta is developing while the transmission infrastructure is aging. In 2010, the province unveiled a decades long plan to build up the transmission grid. This long-term plan called for about $20 billion in new construction.

“There weren’t many transmission projects built in 80’s and 90’s”, said Phillips. “Growth kind of caught up to us, lots of oil sands development is driving transmission projects and a lot of new [power] generators have come on and required the transmission system to be bolstered.”
The Crowsnest Pass is served by Fortis Alberta, our very own distribution facility, making us one of four communities in the province with its own distributor – the others being Cardston, Ponoka and Fort Macleod. Fortis directly bills the municipality, which will then, increasingly, bill consumers.
The provincial building plan has just gotten started which means transmission costs will continue to rise for the foreseeable future.
“By the time we get out another seven years, it’ll add about $20 a month to your residential bill,” said Phillips.
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March 12th ~ Vol. 84 No. 10
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