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About the AER

Our Mandate

The AER ensures the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of oil, oil sands, natural gas, and coal resources over their entire life cycle. This includes allocating and conserving water resources, managing public lands, and protecting the environment while providing economic benefits for all Albertans.

Our History

Energy regulation in Alberta spans 80 years and has advanced over time. Since being created in 1938, Alberta’s energy regulator has evolved in response to changes in government legislation, shifts in priorities, and increases in regulatory responsibility. The regulator has had a number of names over the years, including the Petroleum and Natural Gas Conservation Board, the Oil and Gas Conservation Board, the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB), the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, and now the Alberta Energy Regulator.

When the AER was created in 2013, following the passing of the Responsible Energy Development Act, one of our goals was to improve Alberta’s competitive advantage by making our regulatory system more efficient. We accepted all the energy regulatory functions of the ERCB, as well as those previously held by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (now Alberta Environment and Parks) related to public lands, water, and the environment.

Today, the AER is the single regulator of energy development in Alberta—from application and exploration, to construction and operation, to decommissioning, closure, and reclamation.

Learn more about the history of energy regulation in Alberta in Steward: 75 Years of Alberta Energy Regulation, written by Gordon Jaremko.

How We Are Funded

The AER is 100 per cent funded by industry and is authorized to collect funds through an administrative fee levied on energy development projects and activities. This model is used by other regulatory agencies in North America, such as the Alberta Utilities Commission and the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission.

Where to Find Us

AER staff work in 13 office and field centre locations across the province—from Medicine Hat in the south to High Level in the north and communities in between. Visit our Contact Us page for a full list and to find out how to get in touch with us.