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September 8 2023

Open letter: Calgary Chamber Supports Review of Local Access Fee

September 8, 2023

Dear Mayor and City Council,

As the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, we are writing to express our support for Council’s willingness to review and evaluate the City of Calgary’s Local Access Fee (LAF) calculation for utility bills. According to the 2023 Q2 Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, Calgary businesses continue to face increasing cost pressures, with over 58 per cent citing concern over rising inflation and more than 45 per cent struggling with the rising cost of inputs, including utilities.

Calgary businesses have been directly impacted by the recent volatility of energy prices, with many witnessing increases of more than 100 per cent in their LAF costs in recent months. While both residents and businesses are affected, the impact on business is compounded: in 2022, over 63 per cent of the total LAF collected was paid by commercial customers. This, coupled with a disproportionate share of property taxes falling on business, means businesses contribute a larger share of municipal revenues than non-residential customers. As the City of Calgary considers changes to the structure of the current LAF formula we suggest the following:

We encourage the municipal government to continue working with provincial and federal counterparts, and with businesses to determine a path forward that keeps affordability and reliability at the forefront of public policy decisions.


Deborah Yedlin

President & CEO
Calgary Chamber of Commerce


The Calgary Chamber of Commerce exists to help businesses reach their potential. As the convenor and catalyst for a vibrant, inclusive and prosperous business community, the Chamber works to build strength and resilience among its members and position Calgary as a magnet for talent, diversification and opportunity. As an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 1891, we build on our history to serve and advocate for businesses of all sizes, in all sectors across the city.