May 2, 2022
AltaLink proposes to refund $120 million to customers
Application to the Alberta Utilities Commission and a two-year safety milestone highlights AltaLink’s first quarter performance
CALGARY, ALBERTA (Globe Newswire – May 2, 2022) – On March 17, 2022, AltaLink submitted an application to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) to refund $120 million to Alberta electricity customers later in 2022. The refund would be applied to all electricity customers, including residential, farm, business and industry.
“Alberta consumers are feeling the pressure of high energy prices on electricity bills,” said Gary Hart, President and Chief Executive Officer of AltaLink. “Because we won’t require these funds for an extended period of time, we believe it makes more sense to put this $120 million back into the pockets of Albertans who need it most.”
AltaLink’s proposal is to refund $120 million that has been previously collected from Alberta ratepayers through their electricity bills. AltaLink’s transmission assets are performing well with longer lifespans than was originally forecast, creating a surplus of funds in its depreciation account.
AltaLink previously applied for this customer refund in its last General Tariff Application. While that proposal was denied by the AUC, the cost of energy has increased significantly since the decision was issued, and Albertans are looking for ways to reduce their household costs.
The new proposal must be approved by the AUC to take effect. In 2021, AltaLink refunded $230 million to customers between April and December, bringing AltaLink’s total delivered cost savings to customers to almost $1.4 billion through previous customer refunds and tariff levelization initiatives. If the new proposal is approved by the AUC, AltaLink can once again provide valuable, financial relief to Albertans.
AltaLink employees complete two full years without a recordable employee injury
AltaLink continues to deliver world-class safety performance. On March 31, AltaLink completed its second consecutive year without a recordable employee injury. AltaLink employees worked more than 2.75 million consecutive hours without an employee injury.
In 2021, AltaLink was awarded the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) President’s Award for Safety Excellence for the fifth consecutive year. The award is given to corporate utilities that achieve the top ranking in Total Recordable Injury Frequency (TRIF) among utilities of comparable size in generation, transmission, or distribution operations.
“Our team truly cares about each other. I’m so proud of this performance and how every single employee has embraced our culture of safety,” said Mr. Hart. “Outstanding safety performance is a leading indicator for a company committed to operational excellence. This same commitment to excellence also drives our work to continue to improve reliability and reduce costs for our customers, demonstrated by our Flat for Five commitment and in keeping our rates at or below 2018 levels through to the end of 2023.”
Gary Hart assumes role of AltaLink Chief Executive Officer
Today, AltaLink announced that Gary Hart will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer of AltaLink, in addition to his role as President, effective immediately.
“Gary’s background as an engaging leader with a tireless focus on continuous improvement will serve AltaLink and its customers very well,” said David Tuer, Chairman of the AltaLink Board of Directors. “As Alberta’s economy transitions to a lower-carbon, renewable energy future, it is critical that AltaLink continues to deliver reliable and affordable electricity to the millions of Albertans the company serves.”
Mr. Hart is a professional engineer and has held a variety of senior roles in the energy industry. Prior to joining AltaLink in 2017 as AltaLink’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, he was Managing Director of BHE Canada.
“Every one of us at AltaLink share a vision to be the best energy company in serving customers while delivering sustainable energy solutions,” said Mr. Hart. “I’m proud to be part of such a strong and committed team working on behalf of Albertans.”
Scott Thon, AltaLink’s previous Chief Executive Officer, was appointed the President of Operations for Berkshire Hathaway Energy on April 11, 2022. Part of Mr. Thon’s accountabilities include remaining on AltaLink’s Board of Directors, assuming the role previously held by Bill Fehrman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, who has resigned from the AltaLink Board. Mr. Hart will also join the AltaLink Board of Directors.
AltaLink announces 2022 first quarter results
AltaLink continues to invest in transmission facilities to ensure the reliability of the electricity grid. During the first three months of 2022, AltaLink invested $57 million in its transmission system.
Today, AltaLink, L.P. announced net and comprehensive income of $75.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2022, compared to $74.6 million for the same period in 2021. Our net and comprehensive income increased mainly due to the regulated return on additional capital investment.
Revenue from operations for the three months ended March 31, 2022, was $237.5 million compared to $234.2 million during the same period in 2021. Our revenue from operations increased by $3.3 million primarily due to the recovery of higher allowable expenses.
As a partnership, AltaLink, L.P. reports its net income before income taxes; therefore its results are not directly comparable with net income reported by corporations that recognize income taxes in their financial statements.
Headquartered in Calgary, with offices in Edmonton, Red Deer and Lethbridge, AltaLink is Alberta’s largest electricity transmission provider. AltaLink is partnering with its customers to provide innovative solutions to meet the province’s demand for reliable and affordable energy. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, AltaLink is part of a global group of companies delivering energy services to customers worldwide.
Significant highlights during the first three months of 2022
- On March 31, 2022, we achieved a significant safety milestone, going two full years without an employee safety incident.
- Our reliability of service as measured by customer outage duration of two minutes improved compared to six minutes for the same quarter in 2021.
- Customer satisfaction average score of 9.43 improved compared to 9.14 for the same quarter in 2021.
- On February 18, 2022, AltaLink filed its 2022-2023 GTA compliance filing delivering on our flat-for-five commitment to customers. AltaLink's 2022 revenue requirement is $869.0 million compared to $904 million in 2018.
- On March 17, 2022, AltaLink filed an application requesting the AUC review and vary its decision to deny AltaLink's proposed $120.0 million refund of accumulated depreciation surplus for customers, given material changes in circumstances since the decision was issued in January 2022. The existing economic pressures on Albertans and Alberta businesses that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic have been compounded by significant and sudden increases in the price of fuel, utilities, food, and other commodities coincident with Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. As a result, ratepayers require immediate and temporary tariff relief.
- On March 31, 2022, the AUC extended AltaLink's current return on equity of 8.5% and deemed equity ratio of 37% on a final basis for 2023.
- AltaLink announced that Gary Hart will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer of AltaLink, in addition to his role as President, effective May 2, 2022. Mr. Hart is a professional engineer and has held a variety of senior roles in the energy industry. Prior to joining AltaLink in 2017 as AltaLink's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, he was Managing Director of BHE Canada.
- We earned net and comprehensive income of $75.3 million compared to $74.6 million for the same quarter in 2021. Our net and comprehensive income increased mainly due to the regulated return on additional capital investment.
- We invested $57.0 million in capital assets compared to $66.7 million for the same quarter in 2021 to ensure continued reliability of the electricity network.
This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy AltaLink’s securities in any jurisdiction, including but not limited to, the United States. AltaLink’s securities have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “U.S. Securities Act”), or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold in the United States except in certain transactions exempt from the registration requirements of the U.S. Securities Act and applicable state securities laws.
Except for the historical and present factual information contained herein, the matters set forth in this news release, including words such as “expects”, “intends”, “projects”, “plans”, “anticipates”, and similar expressions, are forward looking information that represents management of AltaLink’s internal projections, expectations or beliefs concerning, among other things, future operating results and various components thereof or the economic performance of AltaLink. The projections, estimates and beliefs contained in such forward looking statements necessarily involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause AltaLink’s actual performance and financial results in future periods to differ materially from any projections of future performance or results expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, those described in AltaLink’s filings with the Canadian securities authorities. Accordingly, holders of AltaLink securities and potential investors are cautioned that events or circumstances could cause results to differ materially from those predicted. AltaLink disclaims any responsibility to update these forward looking statements.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Vice President, Treasurer
AltaLink Management Ltd.
Vice President, Communications
AltaLink Management Ltd.