More on TransAlta’s Power Price Manipulation

Our followers may remember last November we reported on TransAlta being found guilty by the Market Surveillance Administrator (MSA) of manipulating electricity prices, artificially inflating prices for all provincial consumers while pocketing the profits. The MSA issued a fine to TransAlta of only $370,000, whereas the estimated actual cost of TransAlta’s infraction to consumers was a whopping $5.5 million.

The scandal highlights the fundamental flaws in the Alberta market, including having the highest-cost electricity at the end of the hour setting the price for the entire hour. The Industrial Power Consumers Association of Alberta says this is yet another glaring example of how Alberta’s “open market” fails to protect consumers and shows how toothless the role of the MSA really is.

At the time, all opposition parties hammered the PC Government for creating this problem in the first place by deregulating the market, which now grossly favours the power industry over consumers.

This letter in today’s Edmonton Journal asks whatever happened to the $5.5 million that TransAlta collected as a result of its price manipulation? The letter asks that this money rightfully be returned to Alberta electricity consumers. RETA could not agree more.

~ by RETA on April 5, 2012.

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