An AER hearing is a formal court-like process that we use to gather information before making a decision on some energy project applications.
Hearings for energy applications cover everything from gas and oil wells and pipelines, to sour gas processing plants and major oil sands and coal projects. Our decision to hold a hearing is made on a case-by-case basis. The time it takes to complete a hearing will vary.
We may also partner with the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) when both Alberta and Canada have a responsibility to make decisions on proposed energy projects.
Learn more about our hearing process.
Review our hearings schedule to find upcoming hearings. We update this schedule every Friday.
When do we hold hearings?
A hearing may be held
- to decide applications,
- for regulatory appeals,
- by the AER on its own initiative, or
- at the request of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
Who conducts hearings?
Hearings are conducted by a panel of one or more hearing commissioners, who are adjudicators with specialized knowledge in a variety of fields related to the energy industry. The commissioners are appointed to the AER by government and designated for particular proceedings by the AER’s chief hearing commissioner. This panel makes an informed decision about an application based on
- the specific facts and circumstances, and
- statements of concern we receive from stakeholders who believe they may be directly or indirectly affected.
Notice of Hearing
Before a hearing, we issue a notice of hearing. The notice includes
- contact information for the hearing coordinator,
- information about the energy application,
- information on how to find out more about the application, and
- details about how to participate in the hearing.
Participate in a Hearing
Some people may be allowed to participate in a hearing. If you wish to participate, you must submit a request to participate by the deadline in the notice of hearing. The hearing commissioners decide who participates and how.
- Read our EnerFAQs Having Your Say at an AER Hearing for answers to common questions about the hearing process.
- Review Manual 003: Participant Guide to the Hearing Process for more insight into the hearing panel’s decision-making process.
- Consult the Alberta Energy Regulator Rules of Practice for an explanation of how and what to do before, during, and after a hearing. All parties must be familiar with these rules before the hearing begins.