More time given to ATCO, investigators to reach settlement on alleged rule breach

An ATCO trailer in Victoria, British Columbia, July 28, 2020. The ATCO Group of companies was founded in Calgary in 1947 as the Alberta Trailer Company, later named ATCO, and expanded into the natural gas and petroleum as well as electricity industries. ATCO Industries Ltd. is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Don Denton

The Alberta Utilities Commission is giving ATCO Electric and commission investigators more time to negotiate a settlement over an alleged breach of regulations governing the industry.

Although the parties were to report to the commission Friday, they have now been given until March 4 to work out a deal.

Commission investigations have asked the agency for an enforcement hearing into its conclusions that ATCO Electric inflated a contract with a British Columbia First Nation in order win deals for another ATCO company.

Investigators say it then tried to pass the $12-million overpayment on to Alberta consumers.

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They say company management was aware the arrangement was questionable and tried to cover its tracks.

ATCO has acknowledged it made mistakes and has offered a $16-million settlement.

In a letter to the commission, ATCO and the investigators say they’re discussing an agreed statement of facts and a potential penalty.

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