The Alberta Utilities Commission says the small cash payout proposed by AltaLink would ultimately cost consumers millions more than it returned.
AltaLink, Alberta's largest electricity transmitter, had asked the commission to allow it to offer a 120-million-dollar refund that would have averaged about 5-dollars a month for residential customers.
But the commission pointed out the refund would have been financed by a loan, not cash. And it says and the interest and other charges on that money meant the true cost of the refund was about 250 million dollars --money the company would have recouped from consumers.
The commission says the offer was more like a loan than a refund. Utilities consumer advocate lawyer Jim Wachowich says if utilities want to help consumers bring down their bills, they should reduce their profit expectations.
An AltaLink spokesman says the company is disapppointed but will continue working to keep consumer rates flat.
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