What are my choices when it comes to energy services?
- Co-operative Energy Rate Contract: The member will have EQUS supply energy under 6.1 RRR Regulation for five years commencing January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2020, according to the EQUS Terms and Conditions of Co-operative Energy Rate Service. The Terms and Conditions describe the application of stranded costs should your choice change during the five years, and also describe any charge associated with you choosing this option in the future. The Terms and Conditions also describe renewal options.
- Competitive (Contract) Retail Service: If you choose this option, you will purchase energy through a contract with a licensed competitive retailer who has registered with EQUS. You may choose from a list of licensed competitive retailers: www.ucahalps.alberta.ca. This option and choice does not become effective until the member has signed a contract with a licensed retailer of record.
- Regulated Rate Option (RRO): You may choose to receive a regulated energy rate, under the Regulated Rate Option Regulation. You understand that your energy rate may fluctuate every month and that this RRO rate will necessarily include premiums to account for volume risk, price risk, credit risk, settlement risk, unaccounted for energy, losses and other risks.
If you do not choose one of the three options, your energy service option will be defaulted to the government Regulated Rate Option at the end of the current contract. Defaulting to the government Regulated Rate is a requirement of the government in the absence of a consumer exercising choice of electricity supply.
EQUS purchases energy annually based on the confirmed Co-operative Energy Rate Contracts in place. Note that without your consent, we cannot purchase energy for you.
What are the options for submitting my meter read?
For members who read their meters, the following applies.
- By mail. Please allow time for mailing;
- By dropping off your reading at your Area Office. For your convenience, each office has an after-hours drop off;
- Via fax;
- Email or submit via our website;
- Phone in your meter reading. This option is available 24 hours per day/7 days per week; and
- Members may send in their meter read at any time through the month starting on January 1, 2017.
How do I read my meter?
When submitting your meter card to the office, mark each dial in its exact location. Do not mark the dials to the closest number or circle the number on the dials. If you have a digital meter, please enter the read on the meter card exactly as it is shown.
Members are expected to read their meters and submit their readings monthly to EQUS by the end of the billing month. EQUS encourages members to read their meters on the last day of the month to align with the current billing period; however, you can read your meter at any time within the month and we will accept your meter read.
If EQUS receives your meter reading after the last day of the current billing month, unfortunately, we will not be able to utilize it for billing purposes. Please see the various options above for you to submit your monthly meter reading to EQUS.
The date that the meter is read must be recorded on the return portion of the bill. If the read date is not entered on the submitted meter card, the meter reading is invalid.
If EQUS does not receive a meter reading from you for two consecutive months, an EQUS representative will read your meter and you will be billed $50. However, it is important to note that your meter will be read once annually at no charge by EQUS. The specific month your meter will be read by us is dependent on which “read group” your service is located in. Your bill will state what read group you are in and whether the current charges are based on an estimate of your consumption, or an actual meter reading.
What is budget billing and how do I sign up?
EQUS offers a Budget Billing Program (BBP) to members. This program averages your utility costs, based on the billing history at the service address, over a 12-month period so that you are invoiced an equal amount each month. Once per year, in December, you will receive a “settle-up” bill in which your actual charges are compared to your payments. If you’ve paid more than your actual costs, your account will be credited. If you’ve paid less, that balance will be added to the payment amount due on your “settle-up” bill. During the year, following the timing of your annual meter reading provided by EQUS, if there is a significant difference in your utility consumption patterns due to usage or a rate change, the equal payment amount may be adjusted to prevent a large bill during the settle-up period.
On the Budget Billing Program, your budget amount will probably only change once per year following the “settle-up” billing completed in December of each year. Sometimes changes to your service will alter your consumption profiles. If your consumption changes to a great degree, your budget amount may be required to be recalculated. Members should contact the office to discuss these changes with your Member Service Administrator.
If you are interested in being placed on the Budget Billing Program, please contact your Member Service Administrator for details. Note: To be eligible for this program, you must have lived at the applicable service address for a minimum of 12 months.
How can I disconnect/connect my service?
If you have sold your property or are renting it out and wish to disconnect or connect the service, please contact your EQUS Area Office.
How do I pay my bill?
- By mail. Please allow time for mailing;
- By dropping off payment at our office. For your convenience, all Area Offices have an after-hours drop off;
- At any bank in Canada;
- Telephone Banking; and
- Internet Banking.
How do I read my bill?
Co-operative Energy (provided by EQUS REA LTD.)- This is the cost of electric energy you have used in a billing period. Your current rate includes: Energy and UFE (Unaccounted for Energy)/Line Loss Consumption @ 5.77% - included in Energy Billed.
Regulated Rate Energy Provision (provided by EQUS REA LTD.)- This is the cost of electric energy you have used in a billing period. Your current rate includes: Energy and UFE (Unaccounted for Energy)/Line Loss Consumption @ 5.77% - Included in Energy Billed and EQUS' risk margin. Risks covered by the risk margin include all volume risk including attrition and forecast risk, all price risk, and all credit risk.
Co-op Non-Energy – This is the cost for administration of the members' account.
RRO Non-Energy – This is the cost for administration of the members' account and the cost of RRO procurement, overhead and administration. The RRO procurement cost is based on billed consumption and therefore this amount will vary accordingly from month to month.
Transmission – The cost of building, operating and maintaining the provincial power grid.
Rate Rider – A rider is a temporary credit or charge approved by the regulator.
Distribution – The cost of building, operating and maintaining the local distribution system. Your current distribution rate as a member of a locally owned distribution cooperative is a flat charge based on the breaker size. This is reflected in the service capacity charge on the front of the bill.
Tree Trimming– This charge will appear on your bill if you have chosen to continue to have the trees on your tap trimmed.
Loan– This is applied to your account if you have chosen to take a loan for a new service or if you have taken a loan for a service move or service transfer.
Adjustments – Miscellaneous adjustments are applied to your bill for the following reasons: deposit on account, used pole sales, Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) charge, and any charges/credits that are applied to your account.
Goods & Services Tax (GST)– the GST calculation is based on the total cost identified in your bill.
What are my billing options?
All members are free to purchase electricity services through EQUS’ regulated rate tariff or from a retailer of their choice. The delivery of electricity to you is not affected by your choice. If you change who you purchase electricity services from, you will continue receiving electricity from EQUS. For a current list of retailers you may choose from, visit http://www.ucahelps.alberta.ca or call 310.4822 (toll free in Alberta).