Overview

Marketing of electricity or gas business is defined as:

  • soliciting, negotiating, concluding or performing the whole or any part of a marketing contract on behalf of a *consumer
  • soliciting a person in any manner for the purpose of having that person enter into a marketing contract or of negotiating, concluding or performing the whole or any part of a marketing contract

*Note: A consumer is defined as a person who enters into a marketing contract to purchase less than 2,500 gigajoules of gas per year or 250 megawatt hours of electricity per year.

Businesses that market both electricity and gas require separate licenses for each marketing activity.

Note: An energy marketing business shall not solicit, negotiate, conclude or perform the whole or any part of a marketing contract including furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters, windows or energy audits, in person at a consumer's home unless the following condition is met: Before the business attends the consumer's home, the business is expressly invited into the home by the consumer by:

  • phone, email, text or other electronic communication
  • through the business's website
  • in person at the business's normal place of business or at such other place where the energy marketing business is conducting business

Cost

There is a one-year licensing fee of $1,000, payable to the Government of Alberta.

How to apply

You will need to complete an application form, provide a security, provide a copy of your marketing contract(s), provide additional information, and pay a licensing fee. To get started, follow these instructions to save and open the application and other applicable forms.

Failure to provide complete information will delay processing of your application and may result in a refund of your fees and closure of your file.

Step 1. Fill out the application form

Trouble opening or completing PDF forms?

Fillable forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save this form:

  1. Click on the PDF link to save it on your computer.
  2. Launch Adobe Reader.
  3. Open the PDF from within Adobe Reader. You can now fill and save your form.

Application for a Business Licence (PDF, 83 KB)

Step 2. Obtain and provide security

Obtain and provide an original, signed security in the amount of $250,000*. You may get this security in one of 4 ways:

  • General Surety Bond
  • Cash Security Agreement accompanied by one of the following:
    • Irrevocable Letter of Credit
    • Cash (bank draft, money order or certified cheque payable to the Government of Alberta)
    • Term deposit or similar instrument in the name of the Government of Alberta, c/o Service Alberta, 3rd Floor, 10155 102 Street NW, Edmonton, Alberta, T5J 4L4, in trust for (name of licensee)

Depending upon the option selected please do the following:

  • General Surety Bond (PDF, 121 KB)
    • The surety company will complete and provide you with a signed and sealed original of the form. You will need to review, sign, affix your company seal or have your signature witnessed, and provide the original to the address on the form.
    • The form may be found at https://cfr.forms.gov.ab.ca/Form/CONP0045.pdf (PDF, 121 KB). Please provide this address to your Surety Company.
  • Cash Security Agreement (PDF, 120 KB)
  • Irrevocable Letter of Credit (PDF, 119 KB)
    • The financial institution will complete and provide you with a signed original of the form letter. You will need to review and provide the original to the address on the form.
    • The form may be found at https://cfr.forms.gov.ab.ca/Form/CONP0123.pdf (PDF, 119 KB). Please provide this address to your financial institution.

* In accordance with the Security agreement, the security provided will be held for 2 years after the agreement expires or 2 years and 3 months (27 months) from the date the business licence expires, or the business closes or longer in the event of a claim being received. The amount of security given is a minimum security requirement. The amount could increase at the discretion of the Director of Fair Trading. When setting the security amount, the Director can consider the department’s previous history with the business and its partners or directors, the business’ financial history, and criminal convictions.

Step 3. Provide a copy of the marketing contract(s)

Consumers are able to enter into marketing contracts for electricity and gas in a variety of ways including the Internet and over the telephone. The contract requirements vary depending on the method the marketing contract is entered into.

  • Telephone marketing
  • Internet marketing
  • Marketing other than telephone or internet marketing

Refer to sections 10, 11.4, 12(1) and 15 in the Energy Marketing and Residential Heat Sub-Metering Regulation for duties relating to documentation.

The plain language contract for buying gas and electricity is available from the Utilities Consumer Advocate website or by calling the Consumer Information Centre toll-free at 310-4UCA (4822).

Step 4. Provide additional information

Include a copy of your marketing materials.

In certain circumstances additional documents are required:

  • Statutory Declaration (PDF, 978 KB) where independent contractors are utilized
  • Distributor agreement (if applicable)

Step 5. Submit the application form

Email your application form, a copy of your marketing contract(s), and any required additional information to sa.businesslicensing@gov.ab.ca. Provide your original security document(s) to the address noted on the form(s). You will be contacted to set-up online payment for the one-time $300 licensing fee.

You may also mail or drop off your application package to the address noted on the application. You may pay by credit card online, by credit card or debit card in person at our office, or you may mail a cheque or money order to our office.

When paying by cheque or money order please make it payable to the Government of Alberta.

Processing of your application will not start until payment is received.

After you apply

Licence takes effect the day the licence is issued.

It is your responsibility to ensure your licence is in force as long as you continue to do business. Once your licence is issued please make note of the expiry date and ensure your licence is renewed prior to this date.

Licence holders must notify Service Alberta in writing within 15 days of a change in:

  • business address
  • partners of the business if the licence is issued to a partnership
  • officers or directors of the corporation if the licence is issued to a corporation

Licence holders must notify Service Alberta in writing within 15 days of ceasing to carry on the activities for which the licence was issued.

Your responsibilities

  • Please pay particular attention to the following sections of the Energy Marketing and Residential Heat Sub-Metering Regulation:
    • 10 regarding duties relating to documentation – marketing contract (for marketing contracts other than Internet or Telephone marketing contracts)
    • 11.4 regarding duties relating to documentation – Telephone marketing contract
    • 12(1) regarding duties relating to documentation – Internet marketing contract
    • 15 regarding plain language energy marketing template
  • Every licensee must provide every individual who acts on behalf of the licensee in the marketing of electricity or gas business with an identification card that:
    • shows the name of the individual acting on behalf of the licensee and the name, address and license number of the licensee on whose behalf the individual is acting, and
    • is signed by the signing authority appointed by the licensee
  • If any of the applicant, partners, directors or officers primary residence is Out-of-Canada, a criminal record check is required from the jurisdiction of the individual’s primary residence which follows the requirements set out by Citizenship and Immigration Canada or a check provided by a local policing organization (i.e., state or municipal police service) provided the results include national records. For US applicants, a criminal history record information check performed by a vendor from this list is also acceptable.
  • Compliance

Copies of legislation can be obtained from the Queen’s Printer Bookstore.

Renewing a licence

You may use Service Alberta’s PABLO (Province of Alberta Business Licensing Online) to renew your licence.

PABLO System

This system is used for processing payments, printing issued licenses and renewing licenses.

  • Applications submitted by email, fax or without payment will have a user ID created in the name of the applicant and provided to their email address. They will need to submit payment or their application will not be processed.
  • Once issued, licenses are made available electronically for printing by the business. If an ID does not already exist one will be created and provided to the applicant’s email address along with notification the licence has been issued. If an ID was created for payment of the fees the applicant will receive an email notification the licence has been issued.
  • Within 60 days prior to the expiry of a licence a renewal may be processed using this system. Mark your calendar as a reminder so you stay continuously licensed.

Contact

To connect with the Consumer Contact Centre:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-4088
Toll free: 1-877-427-4088 (in Alberta)
Email: sa.businesslicensing@gov.ab.ca