A new approach,
a new strategic plan

Few set out on a long journey or begin a major project without doing some planning first. And quite often, circumstances change and so too must the plan.

In 2013, the AER was created and we soon got to work developing a strategic plan that focused on four priorities: being protective, effective, efficient, and credible. It was underpinned by a vision of becoming an excellent regulator.

But just as energy development has continued to evolve to adapt to new challenges, the way we regulate must also evolve. For this reason, the AER has created a new strategic plan—one that continues to integrate the attributes of regulatory excellence (utmost integrity, empathic engagement, and stellar competence) into all our work, sets clear outcomes and measures, and ensures that we continue to protect what matters to Albertans.

This strategy will help us prioritize the work we need to do to continue to improve Alberta’s energy regulatory system. The new strategic plan is built on an updated vision:

“Alberta is recognized for excellence in sustainable energy development.”

Every day, and in everything we do, we deliver on five key outcomes for Alberta.

  1. The environment is protected.
  2. The public is safe from harm.
  3. The public is confident about how energy is developed within the province.
  4. The regulatory system enables economic benefit for all Albertans.
  5. Energy development in Alberta is well planned.

For the AER, sustainable energy development means our decisions will integrate environmental, economic, and social outcomes throughout the regulatory process. We have made great strides in incorporating these factors into our decisions, and this new plan will ensure that the AER continues this work with heightened focus.

After discussions with key stakeholders, our senior leaders created five new strategic goals for the organization.

  1. The development of energy resources is managed throughout the life cycle by integrating economic, environmental, and social factors, and considering industry performance. This means that we base decisions on these factors and take into account how companies are performing.
  2. The regulatory system enables the energy transition. We enable the use of clean technologies to reduce the impacts of energy development.Drawing on our expertise and experience, we contribute to policy development surrounding the regulation of hydrocarbons and renewable energy sources.
  3. As a modern, responsive, efficient, and effective regulator, the AER contributes to Alberta’s competitiveness. We help make Alberta more competitive by ensuring that our regulatory requirements are necessary and easy to understand in order to achieve outcomes at the lowest possible cost. We also adopt best practices to protect the environment and the public, setting an example of regulatory excellence for other regulators in Alberta and beyond.
  4. Regulation of Alberta’s energy resources is improved by actively engaging indigenous peoples, stakeholders, and the public. We listen to indigenous peoples, our stakeholders, and Albertans, and carefully consider their values, interests, and concerns when carrying out our work. Sharing best practices with our peers from around the world helps us improve our regulatory system.
  5. The AER mitigates the magnitude and likelihood of potential liability exposure to Alberta. Companies (or their receivers) fulfil obligations to properly close inactive infrastructure and clean up the land. Industry remains liable for orphaned assets.

These new goals are designed to ensure that we are excellent and that we continue as a protective, effective, efficient, and credible regulator into the future.

Our new strategic plan will help everyone at the AER do a better job at resourcing and prioritizing our work, allowing us to focus on what absolutely needs to get done. It will also help AER staff recognize how their everyday work supports our overall vision and delivers outcomes for Alberta.