Alberta Utility Bill Deferral
We live in unprecedented times. Within a month, 2020 has unleashed a global health crisis, overwhelming many other countries’ medical systems and threatening the global economy. It’s a good reason for anyone to fret, but all over Canada, governments are implementing programs to ensure that residents won’t have to worry about losing access to their utility services.
Albertans in need will be able to defer their utility bill payments for up to 90 days
The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC), in agreement with the provincial governments, has put in place a 90-day deferral on their natural gas and electricity bills. This applies to all residential plans, farms, and small businesses in Alberta with any retailer that supplies them.
The AUC will let Albertans know if the deferral needs to be extended. In the meantime, residents shouldn’t be worried about their utilities cutting off, if they are unable to work and gain income during this time.
The decision is part of a series of relief measures presented by the provincial government on March 18, including a six-month, interest-free moratorium on Alberta student loan payments and emergency isolation support. For more benefits and support available to families, read the Financial supports for Albertans document.
UPDATE: As published on the official Support for Albertans page, energy consumers will have to call their utility provider directly to arrange for a 90-day deferral on all payments. In case you don’t know who is your energy provider, here’s a full guide on how to find out: Who’s my energy provider in Alberta?
How long is the deferral going to last?
90 days. The program came into effect on March 18 and it will run through June 18, 2020.
When will I start paying utility bills again?
The program was created to provide consumers with temporary financial relief. In case you choose to defer your utility payments, you will still have to pay for your deferred energy bills after June 18, 2020. According to the Government, the AUC is working with utility companies to develop a payment system to help consumers pay back their deferred bills within a reasonable time period.
Over the next few days, Albertans expect the Government of Alberta and the AUC to provide energy consumers with more information on how this program is going to work. This story will be updated as soon as the province releases new details.
Are medium and large commercial consumers eligible for the deferral plan?
No. As of March 27, 2020, only residential customers, small businesses and farms were eligible to participate in the Alberta utility bill deferral program. However, medium and large businesses in the city of Medicine Hat can participate in the plan and set up deferred payment arrangements by contacting the local utility at [email protected] or 403.529.8113.