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The utilities industry looks after what comes out of your taps, goes down your drain, or passes through your power and gas lines-namely, the delivery of water, power, and gas, and the disposal of sewage. As of August 2015, Alberta had 26,000 kilometres of transmission lines, roughly the same distance as almost four trips between Charlottetown, P.E.I., and Whitehorse, Y.T. While most of the province's installed electricity-generation capacity is from coal and natural gas, it also uses water, wind, waste heat, and livestock manure to generate electricity.

GDP Gross Domestic Product

Gross domestic product (GDP) measures the overall size of an economy. In 2015, the utilities industry made up 1.4% of Alberta's GDP. This represents a 0.4% reduction from 2013.

Alberta’s GDP
Reduction from 2013
  • electric power generation, transmission, and distribution
  • natural gas distribution
  • water, sewer, and irrigation systems

The utilities industry employed 20,200 people in 2015. This is an increase of 1,500 jobs (8.0%) from 2013.


15,400 men worked in the industry in 2015 (up 10.8% from 2013).


4,800 women worked in the industry in 2015 (no change from 2013).

Average Wage
Average Hourly Wage
Average Hourly Wage
  • The average 2015 hourly wage of $42.70 for the utilities industry was above the provincial average of $29.06.
Industry Performance

Between 2013 and 2014, the number of all electricity customers, including residential, farm, commercial, and industrial, rose by 30,809 or 1.8% to a total of 1,699,926. During the same period, power usage for all customers climbed from 54,131 gigawatt-hours (GwH) to 55,379 GwH. Nevertheless, capital investment in this industry dropped from $6 billion in January 2014 to $4.5 billion a year later. In 2015, the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) celebrated 100 years of public utility regulation in Alberta with the core responsibilities of regulating price, service quality and supply of public utility services.

Industry Outlook

The province's 2015 Climate Leadership Plan outlined policies to limit coal pollution, effectively phasing out coal-fired electricity generation by 2030. The plan also announced polices to encourage renewable resource technologies and innovations. The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) organization predicts this will likely happen with new wind-generation facilities. The organization also forecasts residential electricity consumption to grow by 1.6% annually over the next 20 years, with commercial demand growing by 2.2% annually over the same period. This constant demand will mean a steady development of facilities over that period.

Industry Employment Trends

Employment in this industry is expected to grow at an average rate of 1.2% from 2016 to 2019.

OCCinfo has more information about occupations in Alberta, including details about duties, working conditions, educational requirements, employment outlook, and salary ranges. You can also find reports on region-specific information about wages, job vacancies, and hiring difficulties in this industry. Visit the Survey Analysis to learn more.

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