A Closer Look at Alberta’s $300 Electricity Rebate and Fuel Tax Removal
Alberta’s electricity prices hit record heights in January, meanwhile across the country gas prices have hit unparalleled highs. Following the 2022 Provincial Budget, where the Alberta government offered a price protection mechanism for natural gas, the Province has announced additional help as Albertans struggle with their energy and gas bills.
The government plans to provide rebates for electricity bills for the first three months of 2022, as well as put the provincial taxes on gas and diesel on hold.
Electricity rebates: Who gets some money back?
With Alberta’s electricity prices hitting unparalleled highs in January, the government is offering rebates to help Albertan families and businesses pay their bills.
The government will offer a $300 retroactive rebate on electricity bills over the past winter. The rebate, applied directly to the electricity bill, will provide partial reimbursement for electricity bills from January to March to anyone who consumed less than 250 megawatt-hours of electricity within the past calendar year. It is expected that over one million homes, farms, and small businesses will receive this rebate.
Eligible consumers will receive a $50 monthly rebate for each of the months mentioned above, and for three more additional months as mentioned in the update below.
UPDATE: On July 6th, 2022, the provincial government announced the electricity rebate program will be expanded and will go through the rest of 2022. Eligible Albertans will receive a monthly $50 bill credit for six consecutive months, for a total of $300, instead of the initially planned $150 amount.
The rebate will be listed on each bill as a line item titled “GOA Utility Commodity Rebate,” and $50 rebates will follow in August, September, October, November, and December for a total of $300. The exact timing will vary depending on the billing cycle of each utility provider, but most energy consumers should see the electricity bill relief starting in July and stretching until the end of December.
The government is working with over 45 of the province’s energy retailers to coordinate this program.
On June 22, 2022, the Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity, Dale Nally, announced consumers will begin seeing rebates on their power bills as of July 1st. Eligible households and businesses can expect to see an automatic $50 rebate on their bills. It is being applied directly to eligible utility bills, meaning no application or other action is needed to start receiving the rebate in July.
As published in the government’s official news release, the $50 rebates will apply to the entire bill, not just the energy portion. The program will cover both consumers on the variable regulated rate option as well as those with competitive retailers. This means that if you switch energy retailers and start a competitive contract, you’d still be eligible, as long as you’re under the consumption threshold mentioned above.
Consumers who believe they meet the eligibility criteria but have not received the rebates by the end of July should contact the Utilities Consumer Advocate.
Removal of Fuel taxes
Starting April 1st, the government will temporarily stop collecting the provincial fuel tax.
Currently, gasoline and diesel are taxed at 13 cents per litre, while marked gasoline and marked diesel are taxed at 4 cents per litre. GST collected on the provincial fuel tax will also be paused, which works out to an additional 0.65 cents per litre savings.
The removal of the provincial fuel tax is not the only change slated for gas prices, as the federal carbon tax is rising to over 11 cents per litre from just under nine cents. Alberta’s premier Jason Kenney commented “while the federal government is set to increase the carbon tax April 1, Alberta’s government is taking the opposite approach and stepping up to offer relief.” While Canadians receive rebates from the federal carbon tax, there is valid concern regarding a further increase in fuel prices.
This is a developing story. As new details are announced, we will update this article to keep you up to date.