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Power Costs Highest in Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia

In Grant Bishop, Mariam Ragab and Blake Shaffer’s latest research, the authors provide an interprovincial comparison of power prices across Canada.

This Graphic Intelligence shows electricity prices vary widely across provinces, with Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia consumers facing the highest power costs.

Using cost estimates for each province’s electricity system in 2018, the authors estimated power costs of $143/MWh in Ontario, $133/MWh in Nova Scotia and $122/MWh in Alberta. Provinces with the lowest power costs predominantly rely on hydro generation. Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador had the lowest unit system costs at $70/MWh, followed by Manitoba at $87/MWh and British Columbia at $97/MWh.

Note: For comparison purposes, the authors use “normalized” rates. In statistics, normalization is defined as adjusting data collected using different scales into a common scale in order to provide meaningful comparisons. To compare the total system costs on a megawatt per hour (MWh) basis for consumers in different provinces, the authors create a common scale based on system costs and the power consumed by domestic consumers, whether residential, business or industrial.