ENMAX Corporation launches public campaign on transmission lines

CALGARY, Sept. 24 /CNW/ - In a presentation today, Gary Holden will launch ENMAX Corporation's web campaign on significant transmission line projects planned in Alberta. At enmax.com/bill50, Albertans will find out how these projects will impact their home or business electricity bill. There is also a call to action - a letter to send to MLAs, and links to social media sites, allowing Albertans to make their concerns known. In the coming weeks a series of announcements and public events are planned to inform the public on more cost-effective ways to keep the lights on in our province.

"We have an obligation to our customers and all Albertans to speak out about this issue," said Gary Holden, President and CEO, ENMAX Corporation. "It is likely that the price tag for the proposed transmission projects will soar beyond $20 billion, tripling* transmission charges on people's bills over the next 10 years. Ultimately, all Albertans will pay for this astronomical cost - an unnecessary move considering there are more economical options to meeting increasing power needs."

Bill 50 passed its second reading on June 2 and is scheduled to be brought forward for its third reading and Royal Assent in the fall session of the legislature when it resumes on October 26. ENMAX hopes the bill will be vigorously debated and Albertans contact their MLA to voice their concerns.

ENMAX believes the need for all transmission projects should be turned over to the independent regulator, the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC), thereby preserving the needs process. If Bill 50 is passed, Albertans will no longer have a say in the need for this costly system upgrade.

Although some transmission line upgrades are needed, there are other options that are considerably more economical. Building electricity generation closer to where it is needed is one such option. ENMAX is currently building or plans to build three facilities which will add over 1,000 MW of power to Calgary and surrounding areas, dramatically minimizing the need for lengthy transmission lines known to lose electricity in the process.

"This model makes much more sense," said Holden. "In addition, more and more people will opt to install renewable energy technologies like solar panels in years to come. Homes and businesses will generate a portion of their electricity needs on their own roofs. One has to question why so many transmission infrastructure upgrades are being forced upon us when the future of generation is changing dramatically."

    * ENMAX estimates that transmission charges on electricity bills could
        triple over the next 10 years:
        -  From $14 a month to $42 a month for a typical 2,000 square foot,
           single family home
        -  From $18 a month to $55 a month for the average small business
           customer consuming 1,610 kilowatt hours a month
    This estimate does not include the effects of inflation. Also, the cost
    for the proposed transmission upgrades to Albertans will likely be even
    higher, as businesses, institutions, and municipalities pass their
    increased costs on to consumers.

ENMAX Corporation

ENMAX Corporation, through subsidiaries and predecessors, has provided Albertans with safe and reliable electricity for more than 100 years. ENMAX Corporation provides electricity, natural gas and value-added services to over 640,000 residential, commercial and industrial metered customer locations in Alberta. ENMAX Energy Corporation, a subsidiary of ENMAX Corporation, is Alberta's leading competitive electricity retailer. Through subsidiaries, ENMAX Energy is one of Alberta's largest investors in renewable energy and the first Canadian electricity retailer to offer customers an option to support wind generated energy. As well, ENMAX Corporation, through its subsidiary ENMAX Envision Inc., provides fibre optic networks for high speed data and internet communications. Visit our website at enmax.com.

SOURCE ENMAX Corporation

For further information: For further information: Media only contact: Doris Kaufmann, Senior Media Relations Advisor, ENMAX Corporation, T. (403) 689-6150, E. mediaroom@enmax.com

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