FortisAlberta Inc., Canada, filed yesterday its 2006/07 Distribution Tariff Application with the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) for approval of annual operating and maintenance expenses and $360 million in capital projects, net of customer contributions totaling $26.6 million, to continue to upgrade and enhance Alberta's electrical system in 2006 and 2007.
"This application reflects our prudent approach of adopting the lowest cost solution to operate the business while keeping pace with the growing expectations of our customers," says Philip G. Hughes, president and chief executive officer. "These capital investments position us well to provide high quality electrical service in a safe, reliable and cost effective manner."
Once approved, the filing will result in no distribution rate increase in 2006 and a 3% increase to customers on base rates in 2007. FortisAlberta attributes these low rate increases to improving operating practices, reliability and capital investments undertaken for the benefit of our customers.
"We are operating in a province characterized by strong economic growth," adds Hughes. "To support this growth and respond to customer needs, we will continue to focus on increasing capacity and improving reliability on our system to minimize the impact on distribution rates for our customers."
In 2005, FortisAlberta will invest approximately $131 million in capital projects, net of customer contributions of approximately $29 million, to build new facilities to service new customers and improve reliability on the system.
More than three-quarters of the company's capital investments in 2006 and 2007 will be directed toward improving and expanding poles and wires facilities. These investments will strengthen the physical integrity of the existing electrical system and be used to build additional facilities to improve capacity and reliability.