I was a long standing customer of SPARK or Northern Lights Energy and Power. Will my rates stay the same when I switch over to ACE?
ACE is a brand new energy retailer formed by SPARK and Northern Lights Energy and Power. Once you have provided us with verbal or written approval to join ACE, we will manually switch you over to ACE using your current customer information with SPARK or Northern Lights Energy and Power. Your rate plan will remain the same unless you choose one of our new rate plans.
What is the Regulated Rate Option (RRO)?
In Alberta, you can choose how you buy electricity. You can sign a contract with an Energy Retailer at an agreed contract price and terms. You also can buy your electricity at a regulated rate, often called the RRO. The regulated rate is the unit price of electricity (cents per kilowatt hour - kWh). The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) regulates Alberta's investor-owned and municipally-owned utilities to ensure that customers receive electricity at a just and reasonable rate. This rate changes each month. If you have not chosen a competitive electricity retailer and you use less than 250,000 kWh per year, you will continue to be eligible for the RRO.
What is an Energy Contract?
An energy contract is a legal agreement between you and a licensed Energy Retailer. It states the price you will pay for energy and the terms and conditions of your energy purchase.
How do I know that my personal information is secure?
ACE is very concerned about the security and confidentiality of your personal information, which is why we employ security and encryption technology to protect subscriber data.
Some of the security features we use are outlined below:
- Each account is secured by a unique combination of User ID and password. Connections are secured using an SSL connection and personal data stored in the database is encrypted.
- In addition to passwords and data encryption, data access is protected through multiple levels of hardware, software and network security to prevent unauthorized Internet access protecting the privacy and integrity of customer data. All systems and data are stored in a secure fully redundant data center that is monitored 24/7.
Why did ACE get into the retailing of electricity?
In the last couple of years, fewer companies have participated in Alberta's electricity market. Without competition, consumers have limited choices and existing retail prices remain unchallenged. Clearly, there is room for more competition, with consumers being the ultimate winners.
What if I am existing EasyMax customer or on the Regulated Rate Option (RRO)? Can I sign up?
Absolutely! Any customer on EasyMax only has to give one month's notice to cancel without penalty. RRO customers can switch over at any time. Switching is easy.
If I signed up on a contract with another retailer, can I switch over?
The simple answer is 'Yes', but we would not recommend this. Your Energy Retailer might charge you an early exit fee if you cancel before your contract expiry date. If you have a long-term fixed contract, we encourage you to honour the contract commitments. When your contract expires, however, we hope you will consider switching.
What happens if I move?
You can transfer your contract with you to your new location. Just contact us at 1-888-865-8750 and provide us with one month's notice that you are moving, and we'll take care of the rest.
Will I lose power to my home if ACE fails?
Please be assured that the lights will always stay on! ACE has put up bonds which are equivalent to 2 months of estimated power usage for our customer base to the Alberta Electrical Systems Operator and the wire providers. The purpose of these bonds is to ensure your power will never be cut off. You will not be penalized and will simply default back to your regulated provider or, alternatively, choose a new retailer.
What if I change my mind after I have signed up?
You can cancel within 10 days of the date we receive your completed sign up form. You also can cancel anytime after that with just 15-days notice prior to your next meter reading date. We have made it exceptionally easy for you.
Help me understand my electricity and natural gas bill
Below are some of the common terms found in your monthly invoice:
a) Meter Read:
Each month the Distribution Company (ATCO, ENMAX, FortisAlberta or EPCOR) will read your meter and prepare a file called a Tariff Bill File (TBF). This electronic file is sent to the retailer. It contains the current meter read and the date the meter was read. The difference between the current read and the previous read is your actual consumption during the defined time period. The actual consumption is used to calculate the cost and price of your energy use.
b) Distribution Fees:
These fees are regulated by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC). The current charges invoiced by the Wires Company that services your site is billed monthly, with direct pass through of distribution fees. No additional charges or mark-up are applied to these charges.
c) Administration (Admin) Fees:
The monthly administration fee is on a per site basis. The administration fee for a single energy product is $6.50 per site per month. An additional administration fee of $3.00 per site per month will be charged if both electricity and natural gas are selected. This covers the basic transactional fees incurred by us in processing your invoice.
d) Wholesale Cost:
This is the actual cost for the electricity you consumed. To calculate the Wholesale Cost, we use the hourly Pool Price (PP) averaged over the calendar month. We then adjust this cost based on your consumption relative to your Profile Class. This Profile Class is determined by your Wires Company. The Wholesale Cost includes the Line Loss (LL), Unaccounted For Energy (UFE), Retail Market Adjustments (RAM) plus the Alberta Electric System Operator's Spot Trading Charge (STC).
e) Energy Charge:
While your rate will remain the same every month if you are on a fixed rate plan, the energy charge varies according to your monthly energy consumption, based on the meter read.
f) Common Terms:
The following terms are often used in the electricity industry - Line Losses (LL), Pool Prices (PP), Spot Trading Charge (STC) and Unaccounted For Energy (UFE).
The information used to calculate the wholesale price is obtained from the load settlement agent in your area. The load settlement agent provides line loss and unaccounted-for energy information which is added to your profiled usage. The resulting hourly energy is multiplied by the pool price, plus trading charges, plus uplift charges that are published by the Alberta Electric System Operator.
What if I have a micro-generation site?
Currently, small Micro Generation (MG) producers will automatically receive credit which is equivalent to their current electricity rate, for surplus electricity generated and exported to the grid. Micro-generation meter reads are processed on a monthly basis and will be included as a credit on your monthly ACE Invoice. Terms of reference defined within Province of Alberta, Electric Utilities Act, Micro-Generation Regulation.
However, if you decide to sign up as a SPARK Certified Green Generator, you could receive 1.85 ¢/kWh for the renewable energy attributes of your exported energy, in addition to the credit that generators currently receive for the sale of their exported electricity. For more information about the SPARK Green Offset Program and how to sign up as a SPARK Certified Green Generator, please click here.
When I sign up with ACE, should I cancel with my current electricity and gas provider?
No, we take care of the switch for you. In fact, we advise against it as there may be a lag time between signing up with ACE. We will submit your enrolment application to the Alberta Electricity Systems Operator (AESO) for authorization and it usually takes 5 business days to process your application. If you cancel too soon, your current provider may shut off power before the transition to ACE is made.
What makes ACE different from other renewable energy providers?
- ACE is a full service retailer which means you will get your entire bill from us.
- Customers can choose to sign up for our Green Power Rate, which allows them to offset their energy consumption with Green Energy Offsets purchased directly from small wind & solar generators in Alberta.
- Local renewable energy generators can choose to sign up as SPARK Certified Green Generators and sell the renewable energy attributes of their exported energy as Green Energy Offsets for 1.85 ¢/kWh.
- Customers have the option to become a member of SPARK (also known as Alberta Renewable Energy Co-operative), one of ACE's founding members. SPARK has a mandate to invest 70% of yearly profits in renewable energy, and as a SPARK member, you can help decide how that is directed. As a member of SPARK, you’ll also be entitled to a piece of their annual profits – the amount of the distribution will be determined by the Board and Management Team.
What is the reporting and audit process of the Green Energy Offsets?
At the heart of our Green Offset program are our strong co-operative values with transparency being the key component.
Reporting Process of SPARK Green Offset Program
The energy consumption (kWh) of our Green Power Rate customers and the supply of SPARK Green Energy Offsets (kWh) from SPARK Certified Green Generators will be tracked and reviewed quarterly.
Green Power Rate Customers will receive annual reports, which will include the following information:
• Details on the impact of their support for Alberta’s solar and wind generators including:
i. Total green energy supplied to the grid by each green generator group (kWh)
ii. Total Green Energy Offsets purchased from their chosen green generator group (kWh)
iii. SPARK Certified Green Generator Updates
SPARK Certified Green Generators will receive quarterly reports within 45 days of end of quarter. Reports will include details specific to the generator’s category:
• Green Energy Offsets (kWh) purchased by Green Power Rate customers
• Number of generators within the category
• Total Green Energy Offsets registered in SPARK’s offset registry (kWh)
• Total Green Energy Offsets retired from SPARK’s offset registry (kWh)
• Total Green Energy Offsets carried forward to the next quarter (kWh)
• Details of any offsets transferred to or from other generator categories in cases of inadequate generator offset supply
• Overall program details with summary of all generator categories
SPARK Green Offset Program Audit
An annual audit will be conducted by SPARK member auditors (representatives from both SPARK Green Power Rate base and SPARK Certified Green Generator group) to review quarterly settlements to ensure every kWh of the SPARK Green Power Rate is offset by a kWh of green energy generated by a SPARK Certified Green Generator. Any discrepancies will be formally noted for review by SPARK staff with copy provided to the SPARK Board of Directors. Any errors or inconsistencies will be rectified by the next quarter.
Click here to view the Green Offset Program Quarterly Reports. Please note that a more detailed version of this report is provided to the participating generators and Green Power Rate customers.
Can these Green Energy Offsets be traded on a public offset market?
SPARK Green Energy Offsets are NOT official Renewable Energy Credits at this time and therefore, cannot be traded on any recognized Renewable Energy Credit market in Alberta, Canada or internationally.