Electricity travels over transmission lines to substations.
Leaving the powerplant, the energy is high voltage—anywhere from 138,000 to 500,000 volts. Substations lower the voltage and send the current over the lines. The voltage drops again when the distribution companies bring it to your home or business.
Distribution companies install meters at your home or business. Every month, they read the numbers to see how much energy you use.
Your electricity bill’s Transmission and Distribution charges pay for delivery from the generators to your home or business and for the cost of meters and meter reads.
Co-op distribution costs are lower, because the members are also buyers who want affordable energy. Members own the business but also want to keep costs down for everyone. When the larger companies mismanage costs and prices, co-ops hold the line and show the rest of the province what is reasonable.
Supply and demand move electricity prices up and down every hour. The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) sets the hourly price.
Go to AESO.ca to see hourly prices.