Alberta is shaping a way for its residents to become more conscientious about the energy they consume by introducing the Alberta carbon levy.
What is the Alberta Carbon Levy?
The Alberta carbon levy is a program that is being implemented to reward residents, businesses, and communities for taking steps to lower emissions. The levy will be included in the price of any fuel that emits greenhouse gases, including transportation and heating fuels like diesel, gasoline, natural gas, and propane, and will provide Alberta with a means of transitioning into a more diversified economy.
The money raised by the levy, an expected $9.6 billion over the next five years, will be reinvested into the Alberta economy in the form of diversification and job creation, as well as in the form of carbon rebates and small business tax relief that will help individuals adjust to the levy.
As of January 1, 2017, the Alberta carbon levy will add an additional 5.35₵/L to diesel purchases, 4.49₵/L to gasoline consumption, $1.011/GJ to natural gas usage, and 3.08₵/L to propane consumption. By 2018, those rates will increase to 8.03₵/L for diesel, 6.73₵/L for gasoline, $1.517/GJ for natural gas, and 4.62₵/L for propane.
What is the Carbon Rebate?
Carbon rebates will be made available to offset the costs associated with the Alberta carbon levy for low- and middle-income households—this means 6 in 10 households will be eligible for the full rebate in Alberta, and another 6 per cent will have access to partial rebates. The small business tax rate will also be cut by one third in order to help small businesses adjust to the levy.
How do you qualify for the Alberta Carbon Rebates?
No application is necessary for you to get your rebate. All you have to do is make sure you’ve filed your tax return, and you need to meet the income criteria. The rebate is tied to income rather than energy use. As a result, eligible recipients will gain a financial incentive to reduce household emissions.
Individuals who have a net income of less than $47,500 will receive the full rebate along with couples and families with a net income of less than $95,000. Individuals with a net income between $47,500 and $51,250, and families with net incomes between $95,000 and $103,000 (depending on the number of children), will receive partial rebates.
The carbon rebate will provide up to $200 for an adult, $100 for a spouse, and $30 for each child under 18, up to a maximum of 4 children (single parents may claim the spouse amount for 1 child as well as the child amount for up to an additional 4 children). Thus, a single household, which on average consumes 119GJ of natural gas per year, may receive as much as $420 in carbon rebates to put towards the additional $120.309 (2017) or $180.523 (2018) that will be incurred as a result of the Alberta carbon levy. However, the household will earn the same rebate regardless of consumption, so households that work harder to consume less energy will have more of the rebate left over to reinvest in other emission-reducing innovations.
For more information about the Alberta carbon levy or the carbon rebate, visit Alberta.ca.