Alberta's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday July 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Canadian Utilities seeks deferral of distribution rate increases in Alberta

CALGARY — Canadian Utilities Ltd. has asked the Alberta Utilities Commission if it can defer compulsory electricity and natural gas distribution rate increases set to come into effect at the start of the new year.

Canadian Utilities owns both Atco Gas and Atco Electric.

If approved, the company says the plan would keep the distribution rates on hold for more than 1.2 million customers in the province.

Canadian Utilities says the move would help support families and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and collapse in oil prices.

The Alberta Utilities Commission regulates the province’s utilities sector.

Canadian Utilities has a presence in more than 300 Alberta communities.

“Our hope is that we can provide some stability and certainty to our customers in this difficult time, and that we can keep our distribution rates as low as possible as the province gets back on its feet,” said ATCO chairwoman and CEO Nancy Southern.