On Monday, December 5, Chestermere Utilities Inc. (CUI) presented its 2017 Utility Rate Request to Council. Council is now continuing to review the information, consulting with an industry expert, and asking CUI questions before rendering a decision.
“In today’s economic climate, we know that utility rate increases are challenging for many households,” says Mayor Patricia Matthews. “As both residents and members of Council, we will make sure we leave no stone unturned in evaluating this request before making a decision about 2017 Utility Rates.”
During the meeting on Monday, Council asked CUI preliminary questions, including:
- Are the increases requested necessary for 2017 operations?
- What has CUI done to reduce costs and improve efficiencies?
- What is the risk to residents if the new rate doesn’t get accepted?
- Are there any other possible funding options that may help alleviate the financial burden for residents?
In addition to Council’s questions, CUI is soliciting public input. Residents are encouraged to submit written questions to CUI by emailing email@example.com by noon on December 8. They will be compiled and answered by December 15 or sooner, as per the new Interim Rate Setting Process.
Also as part of its Interim Process the City has also engaged an external consultant to review CUI’s rate request and provide advice to Council. Patrick Bowman Principal and Consultant, InterGroup Consultants, has more than 18 years of experience in research and analysis for regulatory and rate reviews of electric, gas, and water utilities. He has consulted for more than a dozen organizations in six Canadian provinces and territories.
“This is a significant decision as a regulator, so it was important for us to use a consultant with extensive industry expertise to help us analyze CUI’s request, understand the intricacies, and ensure it aligns with AUC principles,” says Matthews.
The next steps for the Interim Rate Setting Process are:
December 8: Resident, Council, and consultant questions are due to CUI by noon.
December 15: CUI will provide a final package to Council, containing a written response to the questions received from the public as well as any supplemental information provided by the consultant. This information will be posted on CUI’s website. City Administration will report back to Council with information from the consultant.
December 19: Council will review all the final submissions (public questions, responses from CUI, and the consultant’s review) and may make a final decision on 2017 utility rates.
CUI’s rate request presentation is available online through the Council Meeting Agenda or on the CUI website.
We encourage residents to review the information and contact CUI directly with any questions.