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Council approves changes to Local Access Fees

April 22, 2024 update

The Province presented Bill 19, the Utilities Affordability Statutes Amendment Act. If legislation passes, changes to Local Access Fees will come into effect. Adjustments to the “Regulated Rate Option” would come into force on January 1, 2025. 

The City is determining the impact on The City’s approved changes to Local Access Fee timeline.

New Quantity Only model creates greater stability for Calgarians

In March 2024, Council directed The City to change how Calgary’s Local Access Fees (LAF) are calculated for electricity and natural gas to create greater stability and predictability for Calgarians’ utility bills. The new quantity only model will enable Council to set a price (per volume) for energy and gas consumed, which will help limit the volatility Calgarians experience in the current LAF model. Council will set these prices annually for ENMAX and ATCO, and The City is expected to receive revenue closer to what has been budgeted starting in 2027.

Steps and timeline to realizing Local Access Fee changes

Step 1: Design a revised methodology that aligns with the quantity only model. 

  • Expected duration 3 to 9 months.
  • Build a model that provides greater stability and predictability than the current model in how much revenue The City collects. It will include the following features:
    • Focuses on affordable solutions for Calgarians and businesses.
    • Minimizes shifts in proportions across customer classes.
    • Considers both electricity and natural gas. 
    • Continues to support both The City’s operating and capital budgets.
  • Advertise Local Access Fee changes with ENMAX and ATCO publicly.

Step 2 - Negotiate new agreements with ENMAX and ATCO, incorporating the methodology.

  • Expected duration 3 to 9 months.
  • Existing LAF agreements with ENMAX and ATCO would need to be terminated, and new agreements would need to be negotiated with an established advance implementation date.  
  • Agreements would need to detail the new LAF methodology. This includes determining and considering rates for each consumer class.

Step 3 - Obtain Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) approval of the new Local Access Fees agreements.  

  • Expected duration 6 months plus.
  • ENMAX and ATCO would need to prepare and submit applications with City support.
  • ENMAX and ATCO would each need to make separate applications with the AUC for approval of their respective LAF agreements.
  • Proceedings may require additional time if there are many consumers who wish to intervene. These proceedings are not simple renewals of pre-existing agreements, as was the case with ENMAX in 2017 when the proceedings took 3 months.

Step 4 - Establish base year LAF rates and Council approval.  

  • Expected duration 1 to 3 months.
  • Once AUC approval has been obtained, The City will need to establish base year rates that will factor anticipated LAF revenue into budget projections.
  • These base year rates and corresponding LAF rates by customer class will be submitted to and approved by Council. This occurs through Service Plans and Budgets adjustments, in the fourth quarter of the year before the effective date. 

Step 5 - Implement, specifically in ENMAX and ATCO billing systems. 

  • Expected duration – To be determined by ENMAX and ATCO.
  • ENMAX and ATCO Gas will need to modify their billing and collection systems to gather and pay LAF fees to The City in accordance with the revised methodology and rates.
  • We expect considerable work during the first year of the new LAF methodology. In subsequent years, only the rates are expected to change. There should be minimal adjustments for ENMAX and ATCO.

Total timeline: 13 to 25 + months

The City is recommending to implement these changes for January 1, 2027. This allows plenty of contingency time given the involvement of multiple third parties outside The City’s control. We will be able to give certainty to consumers by implementing as outlined on January 1, 2027. This allows The City to align changes to the start of the financial year and enables alignment to The City's next four-year budgeting cycle.

Local Access Fees support The City's operating budget and contribute to keeping property taxes low. Learn more about the current Local Access Fee methodology, utility bills and more: Understanding Local Access Fees.

Providing emergency financial support to Calgarians experiencing vulnerabilities

We’re allocating $10 million from Local Access Fees revenue to assist non-profits in providing support to vulnerable Calgarians. This funding will help meet basic needs, such as housing, heating, and electricity, and aid those escaping violence.

Additional support

Fair entry
Programs and services for low-income Calgarians. Apply for multiple programs and services with one application, your eligibility is based on your income. 

211 Alberta
For additional provincial information on community, social and health services support, visit or call 211.