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Utilities

The utilities industry looks after the delivery of water, electricity, and natural gas to your home as well as the disposal of sewage. As of August 2015, Alberta had 26,000 kilometres of transmission lines. This is more than four times the distance between Edmonton and St. John’s Newfoundland. While most of the province's installed electricity-generation capacity is currently 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 is a 0.4% reduction from 2013.

Alberta’s GDP
1.4%
Reduction from 2013
0.4%
Sectors
  • electric power generation, transmission, and distribution
  • natural gas distribution
  • water, sewer, and irrigation systems
Workforce
2.0%

The utilities industry employed 19,800 people in 2016. This is a decrease of 400 jobs or 2.0% from 2015.

67%
67%

13,300 men worked in the industry in 2016 (down 2,100 jobs or 13.6% from 2015)

33%
33%

6,500 women worked in the industry in 2016 (up 1,700 jobs or 35.4% from 2015)

Average Wage
Utilities
Average Hourly Wage
Provincial
Average Hourly Wage
  • The average 2016 hourly wage of $42.37 for the utilities industry was above the provincial average of $29.61.
Industry Performance

Between 2014 and 2015, the number of all electricity customers, including residential, farm, commercial, and industrial, rose by 38,253 to a total of 1,738,179. During the same period, power usage for all customers dropped from 54,131 gigawatt-hours (GwH) to 54,877 GwH. Capital investment in this industry dropped from $4.1 billion in January 2015 to $3.9 billion a year later. This drop was due to the economic downturn and the relatively mild winter in 2015.

Industry Outlook

The province's 2015 Climate Leadership Plan outlined policies to limit coal usage, which effectively phased out coal-fired electricity generation by 2030. The plan also includes polices to triple renewable energy so that it will supply 30.0% of generation by 2030.  The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) predicts this will likely happen with new wind-generation facilities. The organization also forecasts that electricity consumption will increase as the economy rebounds. By 2018, more electricity generation will be needed as new oil sand projects come on line and oil production increases.

Industry Employment Trends
1.2%

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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