System Delivery Case Study: Power Deregulation & ARCPower Software

Power Deregulation & ARCPower Software

Retail Access/Customer Choice

Power Deregulation & ARCPower Software

Case Study - Utilities - System Delivery Power Deregulation & ARCPower Software

ARC Business Solutions Inc. is an established customer oriented information technology solution provider with proven abilities to incorporate strategy, creativity and technical aspects into business solutions.  Core business verticals are:  Professional IT Services, Enterprise Content Management, Utility Services and Managed Services. 

Executive Summary

  • Alberta Electricity
    Deregulation
  • Customer Choice
  • Business Process
    Re-engineering
  • Load Settlement
    Software
  • Billing Software
  • ARC Power Software
  • 1996 to Present
  • Rural Electrification
    Associations (REA)
  • Alberta Utilities
    Commission (AUC)

Business Case

For many years, The Alberta Department of Energy oversaw the electricity industry
which consisted of three large utilities. Together, these utilities generated 90 per cent
of the province’s energy and were involved in transmission and distribution to
consumers. Joining the utilities were a few municipalities who managed their own
distribution systems.

The Government of Alberta balanced the utilities’ need to recover costs while making a
reasonable return with consumers’ need to pay fair prices. This balance was met
through regulation. The Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) reviewed and
approved new investment and set reasonable prices.

The Government of Alberta passed the Electric Utilities Act (EUA) in May 1995. The
objectives of the legislation were to develop a structure through which:

  • An efficient, competitive market for new electrical generation emerged;
  • A level playing field existed for buyers and sellers;
  • Regulatory costs were reduced;
  • Customers benefited more from competition than regulation; generation and
    transmission functions were separated.

These principles were supported by structural changes to Alberta’s electrical industry.

Most of the industry restructuring has occurred in the generation of electricity and the
selling of electricity to consumers. The transmission and distribution of electricity in
Alberta remains regulated, but has been restructured. The Power Pool of Alberta, now
called the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) was introduced in January 1996.
Here Alberta’s electricity, both generated and imported, is pooled and sold to
distributors and exporters in a spot market. Prices are set hourly, based on the lowest
price to bring on supply to meet total demand. With an active wholesale spot market,
electricity prices are now more volatile.

Another role is the Transmission Administrator, currently the AESO who oversees
operation and ensures open access and system integrity of the transmission grid in
Alberta. A tariff is charged to users of the transmission system and given back to wire
owners for use of their assets.

Through 1996 and 1997, the Alberta Department of Energy sought input to the EUA.
This feedback led to the Electric Utilities Amendment Act in April of 1998. This
legislation included:

  • Creating an Independent Market Surveillance Administrator position to ensure
    efficient operation and compliance with the new rules, laws and regulation; and
  • Separating the distribution and retail functions to enable customer choice of a
    retailer in 2001. 

The legislation also called for municipal distributors to offer customers a Regulated
Rate Option (RRO) beginning in 2001. This option gives residential, farm and small
businesses time to choose which retailer they want to provide them with power. These
rates are available to residential, farm and for business customers using under
250,000 kilowatt-hours per year.

The output from regulated generation plants was auctioned off to buyers in the form of Power Purchase Arrangements (PPAs) in August 2000. The objectives were to capture the benefits and costs of existing generation and move existing generation from regulation to a competitive market. Starting in 2001, the owners of these PPAs pay utilities the cost for the output in exchange for being able to sell the generation to the AESO or others.

Starting in January 2001, Albertans could choose which retail company they wanted to provide them with electricity supply and services. Residential customers can remain on the RRO (called the Regulated Rate Tariff or RRT) or choose a competitive offering from a variety of different retailers. Commercial customers can be on a default rate (which is based on a flow through of AESO price) or choose a competitive offering from a variety of different retailers.

For all customers, the delivery of electricity, through transmission and distribution systems, remains regulated and essentially the same.

Business Solution

ARC participated in the development of the “Retail Access / Customer Choice” Regulations for the Province of Alberta.Working on a large multi-stakeholder team representing a major Power Utility, ARC contributed to the successful definition of Regulations that resulted in a solution that contained these key objectives: simple, accurate, standardized, fair, and cost effective.

ARC led in the implementation of software solutions to support the regulatory requirements for several utilities and retail organizations. Solutions such as load settlement, tariff billing, settlement and billing audit/validation (ARC Power Software) and inter-stakeholder transaction interface software were some of the solutions implemented.

The market opened successfully in 2001 and is a model for other jurisdictions. ARC’s initial involvement in the power sector commenced in 1996 and has invested in the development of several solutions for the market. ARC continues to be a key player and a leader in the Alberta power sector and is deeply involved with Government and Industry in the ongoing refinement of the deregulated and regulated areas of the Alberta Power market.

Key Deliverables and supporting Software:
Regulation (Rule 021) – Settlement System Code
Regulation (Rule 004) – Tariff Billing Code
Regulation (Rule 005) – RRT/DRT Provider Amendments

Do you have a business problem you would like resolved? Connect with our Utilities sector today. 

System Delivery Case Study: SAP Data Conversion For The Utilities Sector

System Delivery SAP Data Conversion

Case Study: System Delivery SAP Data Conversion

System Delivery SAP Data Conversion

Executive Summary

  • Management Consulting
  • SAP Implementation
  • SAP IS-U
  • Project Progress Audit

Business Case

A leading North American liquid pipeline operator had initiated a SAP implementation
project that was in jeopardy of going over schedule by many months and exceeding the
budget dramatically.

Business Solution

ARC was engaged to conduct a thorough internal assessment and review of the project
approach and status. ARC assembled a team of consultants with proven experience in
previous data conversion initiatives involving the same resultant CIS system. The team
was comprised of Senior Architect, Team Lead, Conversion Analysts and Subject Matter
Experts in SAP IS-U and SAP EMIGAL technology.


The engagement had two phases. Phase 1 was an initial assessment and review of
approach for the project. The ARC team of experts completed the detailed initial
analysis of the project within 3 days.


Phase 2 was an investigation of potential remediation, analysis of alternative
approaches and a determination of suitable recommended actions. Within 6 weeks,
the major problems and root causes were identified, recommendations for remedial
actions were finalized and a project schedule impact was developed.


The client was provided with a Project Assessment Findings/Discussion Paper and an
Overview Presentation of Recommendations.


The majority of the dozens of recommendations were adopted by the client and the
project was able to meet its key objectives in a timely manner. The project was
completed and the system went live successfully a month later than the originally
targeted date.

Are you looking for an assessment/review? Connect with our Utilities sector today. 

Recommendations + Implementation = Success

ABOUT ARC

ARC Business Solutions Inc. is an established customer oriented information technology solution provider with proven abilities to incorporate strategy, creativity and technical aspects into business solutions.  Core business verticals are:  Professional IT Services, Enterprise Content Management, Utility Services and Managed Services.

System Delivery Case Study: Utilities Settlement Code Changes

System Delivery Utilities Settlement Code Changes

ARC - Providing High Level Solutions

System Delivery Utilities Settlement Code Changes

Case Study - Utilities - System Delivery Settlement Code Changes

ARC Business Solutions Inc. is an established customer oriented information technology solution provider with proven abilities to incorporate strategy, creativity and technical aspects into business solutions.  Core business verticals are:  Professional IT Services, Enterprise Content Management, Utility Services and Managed Services. 

Executive Summary

  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Alberta Deregulated Utility Sector
  • Settlement Code
  • Management Consulting
  • Utility Sector SME
  • Solution
  • Design/Architecting

Business Case

A power utility company required a business case to assist with corporate decisions
around prioritizing and financing of system changes to accommodate the 2011
Settlement System Code regulated changes. This included a high level design and
project scoping exercise that covered the broad spectrum of legacy client applications
used in this area.

Business Solution

An ARC senior Management Consultant who was a Subject Matter Expert in the Alberta
deregulated utility sector and the System Settlement Code was engaged to provide the
required information.

Key activities included:

  • Review as-is and to-be business processes
    Identify and document a fit-gap analysis
  • Identify business owners for all associated systems and processes
  • Identify corporate data owners
  • Review all system transactions to be impacted by the regulation changes
  • Produce functional and non-functional requirements in a business requirements
    document
  • Produce a comprehensive data dictionary
  • Coordinate with the client Enterprise Architecture to create a high-level Solutions
    Design document and a revised Logical Data Model
  • Provide inputs to the Project Management Plan

In addition, the delivered report outlined:

  • Impacted legacy applications and systems in the client environment
  • High level estimates of the amount of effort required to design and implement a
    suitable compliant solution
  • List of the technical skills critical to the success of the project
  • Project timelines and team size to complete the project by the regulated deadline
  • High level estimates of project costs for the Design and Implementation phases

The results were used in the corporate decision processes on project approval for this
initiative and as the basis for an RFP issued to the vendor community.

ARC would love to work with you and your company to help you solve your business case(s).  Want to learn more? Connect with our Utilities sector today.