Alberta is launching a national advertising campaign to inform Canadians about the negative effects of the federal government’s proposed electricity regulations, which will increase power bills for Albertans and Canadians, drive investment out of the province and put grid reliability at risk.

If left unchanged, Alberta will be forced to achieve net-zero in 12 years without stable sources of baseload power, like natural gas. This would increase the likelihood and frequency of brownouts and blackouts during Alberta’s cold winters and hot summers, and negatively affect many other Canadians as well. Provinces and organizations from west to east have also stated that these federal regulations are simply not feasible.

“Canadians need to know the risks they face if Ottawa’s proposed electricity regulations move forward without any amendments. The federal government is choosing to ignore the facts about their transition, but we are not. All Canadians need to be able to rely on reliable and affordable electricity and we will continue to fight for that.”

Danielle Smith, Premier

Alberta is encouraging Canadians across the country to let the federal government know they cannot afford to pay more for a net-zero electricity goal, that could leave them without reliable power. Print, radio, television and social media advertisements will run throughout the country to urge Canadians to contact their member of Parliament to share their thoughts.

“The federal government has claimed that these regulations prioritize ‘reliability, affordability and sustainability.’ This is a falsehood. In fact, the opposite is true. These regulations compromise the reliability of Alberta’s grid, drive up costs for families and businesses, and will be impossible to implement in the next 12 years. The federal government is on a path that will lead to failure and Canadians who are already struggling will be the victims.”

Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas

Alberta’s success

Alberta has its own path forward. The province reduced electricity emissions by 53 per cent between 2005 and 2021 and will be fully transitioned from coal-powered electricity in 2024. Alberta will continue to build on this success through the Emissions Reduction and Energy Development Plan, which is the province’s approach to enhance global leadership on emissions reductions, clean technology and innovation, and sustainable resource development. It includes actions that will help Alberta accomplish its own achievable target for a carbon-neutral power grid by 2050 without compromising affordable, reliable and secure energy for Albertans, Canadians and the world.

Next steps

The governments of Alberta and Canada met on Sept. 12 to kick off the Alberta-Ottawa working group to align the efforts of the Alberta and Canadian governments on emissions reduction and energy development. The group agreed to focus on the federal electricity regulations as a first priority. If alignment is not achieved, Alberta will chart its own course to ensuring the province has additional reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity brought onto the power grid. This will be accomplished by ensuring Alberta’s electricity market has the proper signals to make investments in clean technology within a timeframe that makes sense to investors while also safeguarding affordability and reliability.

Quick facts

  • According to the Constitution of Canada, legislating and regulating the development of electricity explicitly falls within the jurisdiction of the province (Section 92A (1) (c)).
  • Alberta’s grid had seven alerts during colder months in 2022 and had three alerts in summer 2023, underscoring the importance of having sufficient stable baseload power sources like gas, hydro and nuclear available year-round. Alberta will continue to rely on a diverse mix of intermittent and baseload options to prevent future blackouts and maintain a reliable grid.
  • Alberta will incur the highest costs of any province in Canada because of the federal electricity regulations. Alberta’s government believes these additional dollars should come from the federal government, not the pockets of Alberta ratepayers.
  • The federal electricity regulations do not adequately account for regional electricity system differences, Alberta’s energy-only market, the province’s reliance on natural gas generation or the large industrial demand.
  • Modelling and analysis recently highlighted by the Public Policy Forum shows the federal electricity approach could cost Canadians more than $1 trillion.