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, 2021, to December 31, 2024, 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.
Do I need to read my meter?
No, EQUS members no longer need to submit meter readings. EQUS' innovative Automated Metering Infrastructure submits usage data for billing purposes automatically.
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.
What are my billing options?
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 is an EQUS AMI Load Limiter?
The AMI Load Limiter is a device that allows EQUS to connect, disconnect, and limit power remotely. This improves our efficiencies by eliminating numerous site visits to perform this work. In addition to this feature the meter is equipped with load limiting capabilities.
Should an account be in arrears during winter months (October 15 to April 15) the load limiter function will be activated on your meter. If your account remains unpaid or in default into the spring, after April 15th and/or after temperatures do not fall below zero, EQUS retains the right to have the load limiting function removed and fully disconnect your service. In the event your account returns to good standing, the service becomes fully operational. For further information please refer to the Alberta Distribution Tariff Regulation which is part of the Electric Utility Act.
How does load limiting work in the winter months?
As per the Electric Utility Act, load limiting is to be utilized for residential accounts in arrears in the winter months in order to provide enough power to keep heat in your home. You are able to use less than 15 amps (15A x 240V = 3600W) which is enough to run your furnace and a few other appliances and lights.
It is important to understand that if too much electricity is used at one time, the limiter will 'trip' and turn off your power. AMI load limiters allow our EQUS team to reset your meter remotely after a defined period of time.
If you are using more than 15 Amps for one minute, the meter will turn off for 15 minutes and then will turn back on. When it comes back on it will stay on if you are using less than 15 Amps. The meter will only disconnect and reconnect a maximum of two times in a one hour time period when the load limiting function is applied.
How does a load limiter get removed?
Please contact our office, our team will be happy to assist you in making arrangements to have your account return to good standing and answer your questions during this process. You may also visit our bill support page for resources and organizations that can offer help. Our community is held with high regard and valued in EQUS, we take great pride in supporting one another.
Our team will assist in making the necessary arrangements to set up payments, report payments, and all of the mandatory steps to reestablishing your account balance to good standing. Please note your power can not be fully restored unless your account is paid in full. Paid in full includes a reconnection fee, security deposit, and/or EQUS may approve a payment plan. Upon your account meeting the definitive paid in full status, EQUS will then approve to restore your utilities based on this agreement. Upon a release of your account obtaining “paid in full status” EQUS will remove the load limiter. This stage of the process may take up two (2) business days, not including weekends or holidays.
Members are free to purchase electricity services from a retailer of their choice. For a list of retailers, visit http://www.ucahelps.alberta.ca or call 310.4822 (toll free in Alberta).