Alberta announces changes to electricity buying rules to aid consumers

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EDMONTON - The Alberta government is changing the rules on how consumers buy electricity to try to rein in soaring power bills.

Energy Minister Ken Hughes says the two-thirds of Albertans who buy their electricity off the wholesale market will now be able to buy it four months in advance.

Previously, consumers of the regulated rate option could only buy their power a month and a half in advance.

Hughes says the change will give consumers a chance to average prices over a longer period of time and avoid debilitating price spikes brought on by things like severely cold weather.

The remaining third of Alberta's power consumers buy their electricity on fixed-rate contracts from retailers.

Hughes was reacting to the recommendations of an independent panel set up by the government almost a year ago after Albertans were hit with skyrocketing power bills.

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Geographic location: Alberta, EDMONTON

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