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Do you thrive on the thrill of pushing yourself to your limits and beyond? Are mountain biking, skydiving and paragliding part of your weekend warrior routine? Or do you prefer a quiet evening with your favourite pizza and some Netflix?

Chances are, no matter how much you love living on the edge or relish the security of a steady pace, the risks you take in your business aren’t as easily defined. When it comes to choosing an energy plan, finding a comfortable balance between a wild market ride and a predictable price can be tricky.

You have more control than you think over the risks you take when it comes to choosing electricity and natural gas plans.

For businesses consuming less than 250,000 kWh or 2,500 GJ a year, the choice between guaranteed or variable rates is relatively straight forward. But for larger commercial and industrial enterprises, you have access to customized plans and more sophisticated choices with different levels. You can choose to pay for your energy in three ways: Load Following, Structured Blocks, or Floating Rates. But how do you know which one fits your business – and your risk threshold?

LOW RISK: Load Following

Load following rates give you the most protection from market volatility, even if your consumption patterns change. They give you a guaranteed rate based on your historical usage patterns. This is a popular choice for businesses looking for predictable energy costs and are consistent in their energy consumption.

MEDIUM RISK: Structured Blocks

Structured blocks blend some price protection with some exposure to market fluctuations. A combination of blocks of energy secure a predictable, fixed price to cover some of your consumption. The rest of your consumption follows variable market prices.

HIGHER RISK: Floating

Floating rates expose you fully to market rates on every kWh or GJ you consume. Any market volatility is reflected in your energy costs. Some businesses with the capacity to absorb major swings in energy costs choose to take their chances with this option. Businesses can benefit from low commodity prices when they choose a variable product, but they can also see large cost fluctuations month-over-month or season-over-season. Your floating rate depends on factors such as the weather, market pricing, and your business’ unique consumption patterns as compared to current market pricing. Plus, once energy prices rise, it’s more difficult to secure lower guaranteed rates.

So, whether your appetite for risk is daredevil high or sweet’n’stable low, a quick chat with a trusted energy advisor can set you up with an energy plan and a risk level you’re comfortable with.


 ATCOenergy provides no-charge, no-pressure, customized reviews of your business energy consumption patterns. Their energy experts will share energy market insights to allow you to make the best possible decision for your business. To set up your no-obligation assessment, call 1 844 887 6937.


All customers are free to purchase natural gas services from the default supply provider or from a retailer of their choice and to purchase electricity services from the regulated rate provider or from a retailer of their choice. The delivery of natural gas and electricity to you is not affected by your choice. If you change who you purchase natural gas services or electricity services from, you will continue receiving natural gas and electricity from the distribution company in your service area. For a current list of retailers you may choose from, visit www.ucahelps.gov.ab.ca or call 310-4822 (toll free in Alberta).