The history of Calgary's downtown network system dates back to 1910 when underground conduit to house electrical wires was installed in the downtown area.
Network systems – known for ensuring high reliability - are designed for areas with high electricity use and high customer density. Several transformers are connected together underground so that electricity can be supplied to a customer by more than one transformer. This is a different set-up from the distribution system in the rest of Calgary where there is typically one transformer used to supply electricity to a group of customers.
The Downtown Calgary Network System is one of the largest in North America and the largest in Western Canada, covering eight square kilometers. More than 90 per cent of the infrastructure is located underground. Infrastructure can also be located inside office buildings.
Download the map of Calgary's Downtown Network System
There are more than 982 transformers that are part of the network. These are located in vaults either beneath city streets and sidewalks, covered by grates, or inside of buildings. There are 421 vaults in Calgary.
Network infrastructure is made to withstand hard conditions, including water submersion. The network had the ability to operate during the June 2013 flooding in Calgary, but for safety reasons, ENMAX Power chose to cut power to customers because individual buildings sustained some serious damage to their internal electrical equipment. Power was restored to each of the buildings once it was safe to do so.
To learn more about Calgary's downtown network, or to connect to the system, please visit the following pages:
Customers are free to purchase natural gas services or electricity services from a retailer of their choice. For a list of retailers, visit ucahelps.alberta.ca or call 310-4822 (toll free in Alberta).