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Know the City of Medicine Hat's Electricity Utility

Unlike the majority of Alberta, Medicine Hat does not have a deregulated energy market. Energy consumers who live in this utility's service area are required to purchase their energy supply from the utility at rates regulated by the Alberta Utilities Commission. Regardless, the job of the city of Medicine utility is the same as other Alberta electric utilities – it generates, transmits and distributes electricity to its customers. The main difference is that this utility also operates as the only supply option for the 30,000 consumers who live within its service area including Medicine Hat, Dunmore, Redcliff, Veinerville and rural areas in its outskirts.

HAT Smart – the city of Medicine Hat's effort toward sustainability

Through its program HAT Smart, the city of Medicine Hat encourages its residents to embrace sustainability and green energy in Alberta. Customers are encouraged to add energy-efficient appliances, windows and other products to their homes, as well as contribute green energy in Alberta through installing home micro-generation sites that use renewable sources. Micro-generation sites are home energy generation systems that add energy to the electricity grid. These small generation sites are typically solar power systems but can also be any other form of energy generation. HAT Smart offers various incentives to Medicine Hat utility customers who make an effort toward a greener, more energy-efficient Alberta.

Why is the city of Medicine Hat known as The Gas City?

Medicine Hat is situated above an abundance of natural gas. This underground energy ocean was first discovered by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1883 when it was drilling for water. At first, the Canadian Pacific Railway called this natural gas "swamp gas" and paid it no mind. It wasn't until decades later, in the early 1900s, that the government realized that the town was sitting on a beneficial resource. As a result, the government claimed rights to the 730 billion cubic feet of natural gas below its surface.

Does the Medicine Hat Electric Utility use natural gas?

When this city's electric utility was founded in 1910, it generated its electricity using diesel fuel. Nowadays, it uses natural gas and steam co-generation turbines. By pairing their local resource with steam, the utility has become even more efficient and eco-friendly. Because the city was built on and owns a great deal of natural gas, it has some of the lowest regulated rates of Alberta electric utilities.

Sources: city.medicine-hat.ab.ca,

albertacommunityprofiles.com. Updated: 3-16-15.