Alberta Energy Market Timeline

Here is a brief overview of the important dates in the history of the Alberta natural gas and electricity markets.

1883
Natural gas is discovered for the first time in Alberta, in what is now Alderson.
1891
Edmonton Electric Lighting and Power Company is founded and acquires approval to build its first generating plant.
1901
Medecine Hat establishes its own natural gas utility.
1902
The City of Edmonton purchases the Edmonton Electric Lighting and Power Company, making it the first municipally-owned electric utility in Canada.
1905
The Province of Alberta is proclaimed.
1909
Calgary Power (later TransAlta) is formed
1912
The first natural gas service in Alberta starts with the establishment of the Canadian Western Natural Gas company.
1915
The Alberta Public Utilities Board is created. In addition to regulating electricity prices and rates for service, it had jurisdiction over a range of other matters, among them railway tariffs, telecommunications, and the regulation of the sale of shares and securities within the province.
1930
The Province of Alberta is given rights to all minerals, oil and natural gas within its territory, under the Natural Resources Transfer Agreement with the Dominion of Canada.
1958
Completion from Alberta to eastern Canada of the construction of the TransCanada Pipelines system.
1959
The federal government creates the National Energy Board to oversee interprovincial and international energy trade.
1960
The Alberta Gas Utilities Act is introduced
1975
Under a Federal-Provincial agreement, natural gas prices in Canada are regulated.
1982
The Electric Energy Marketing Agency is created, as part of a policy seeking to equalize electricity rates throughout the province.
1986
Natural gas prices are deregulated through the federal-provincial Agreement on Natural Gas Markets and Prices (signed between Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and the federal government).
1995
The Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) is created from the merger of the Public Utilities Board and the Energy Resources and Conservation Board.
1996
The Electric Utilities Act enters into effect, and starts the restructuring of the electricity utility industry and the process of deregulation. Generation, transmission, and distribution functions of the major utilities in Alberta are separated. Under the Electric Utilities Act a Power Pool is created, a single market for all electricity that is bought and sold in the province.
The EUB passes rules to allow customer choice for small consumers for natural gas in Alberta
2001
The electric utility industry is restructured, allowing customers to choose their electricity retailer for the first time in Alberta. Electricity generation was restructured and made more competitive; Power Purchasing Agreements were auctioned, so that the three main utilities could sell their generation capacities.
Gas prices soar, and the Alberta government gives rebates for natural gas consumers. The Natural Gas Price Protection Act is later implemented to formalise the rebate system.
2003
The Electric Utilities Act is passed, restructuring the Alberta energy market structure. As part of the EUA the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) was created, merging the Transmission Administrator, the System Controller and the Power Pool into one body.
The Alberta Government passed the Natural Gas Rebate Program in order to protect consumers from high natural gas prices.
2004
Natural gas becomes open to customer choice.
2008
The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) is created, replacing some of the previous functions of the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (The EUB is split into the AUC and the Energy Resources Conservation Board).
The Micro-Generation Regulation is also passed, allowing Albertans to generate their own electricity and receive credit for any power they send to the power grid.
2009
The Natural Gas Rebate Program ends.