The ACE Story
In 2015, several energy co-ops joined forces to create new opportunities in Alberta. They teamed up to form ACE.
In 1963, Polly Anna was learning something new. Known as Grandmother Powell to her family and a few other volunteers, she was mastering the art of gluing plastic pipe.
All over Alberta, farmers still had wood piles. They bought coal and relied on propane trucks, because gas companies couldn’t afford to bring natural gas to rural homes. The distance from farm to farm was prohibitive.
Grandmother Powell wanted heat and, along with her neighbours, took the matter into her own hands. Literally.
As part of Alberta’s first gas co-op, she put pipe in the ground herself to help build a distribution system that is now part of the world’s largest rural gas system.
It wasn’t the first time this had happened in Alberta.
In the 1950s, the Investor Owned Utilities had refused to deliver electricity to rural districts, so neighbours did it themselves. They planted poles, rigged up powerlines and formed electricity co-ops. These Rural Electrification Associations or REAs still bring electricity to many parts of the province.
When Grandmother Powell helped dig trenches and lay pipe in the 1960s, she understood you can’t wait for change. You need to initiate it.
Today, Alberta Co-operative Energy—ACE—agrees.
Throughout the province, all customers can now receive co-op prices. REAs and co-ops usually serve specific districts. But with ACE, Edmonton and Calgary high rises, homes and businesses can buy electricity and natural gas without mark-up.
All Albertans can pay the discounted prices co-op members charge themselves.
Everyone can also be part of the new energy. ACE customers can join SPARK, the Alberta Renewable Energy Co-operative, become part of the Green Offset Program and invest in green energy in Alberta.
ACE customers can help transform the power grid by supporting innovative green-energy producers building systems in their own neighbourhoods.
In the 1950s and ‘60s, the REAs and gas co-ops showed Alberta that communities can own energy. And when we do, everyone benefits. Individual members have a stake in running a good business. Prices stay low. Customers get good service.
Today, ACE is ensuring that Albertans continue to own their power and that our future right here at home is innovative and green.