The upcoming natural gas rebate will support more than 1.6 million homes, farms and businesses facing high heating bills next winter.
In Budget 2022, Alberta’s government committed to ensuring natural gas consumers are protected from European-style price spikes next fall and winter. Now, the government is providing additional information on the rebates, including clarity for natural gas customers who are not connected to the distribution system and customers who use other heating fuels, such as propane, kerosene or heating oils, all of which will also be eligible for rebates.
The rebates will provide critical support and cost certainty to at least 1.6 million homes, farms and businesses, including those in rural and remote areas, from Oct. 1, 2022, through March 31, 2023.
Natural gas rebate program
Starting Oct. 1, all consumers connected to the natural gas distribution system and paying a bill directly to a natural gas retailer with less than 2,500 gigajoules (GJ) of annual natural gas consumption will be eligible for government-provided rebates, which will appear directly on bills. No application will be necessary to receive the rebates if you are connected to the natural gas distribution system.
Under this rebate program, if the monthly default natural gas rate from the regulated utility providers (ATCO Gas North, ATCO Gas South and Apex Utilities) goes above $6.50 per GJ, the government will provide rebates to all consumers covering the difference between $6.50 and the regulated rate, on a consumption basis. For example, if any of the regulated rates go to $7.50 per GJ for the month of November, then all consumers would receive a rebate on their bill covering $1 for every GJ used during the month of November.
These rebates will appear directly on eligible bills – protecting consumers on both regulated and competitive plans like fixed rate contracts.
Other heating fuels also qualify for rebates
Eligible consumers not on the natural gas distribution system or consumers using the annual equivalent of 2,500 GJ or less in other heating fuels (such as propane, kerosene and heating oil), will also be eligible and can apply directly for their rebates through a separate application system.
For example, if one of the default regulated rates goes to $7.50 for the month of November and an eligible consumer with a natural gas storage tank on their property purchases the equivalent of 200 GJ, that consumer can apply for a $1 per GJ rebate for that amount of fuel. Specific eligibility limits for each fuel type are listed on alberta.ca.
The rebate for these heating fuels will be calculated in the same method, using a standardized equation to determine the consumption equivalency for the alternative fuel. Information on how to apply will be released before the Oct. 1 start date.
To keep Albertans informed about when they can expect rebates to be paid, regular updates on the default rate will be posted on alberta.ca for the duration of the rebate program. In Alberta, the default regulated rates are set for the entire month and do not fluctuate throughout the month. If a regulated rate in Alberta is set above $6.50 per GJ, the rebates will go into effect for all eligible consumers.
Delivering relief for Albertans
This rebate is another component of the Alberta government’s work to help support consumers dealing with high costs of living. It follows an electricity rebate program implemented this summer and a gas tax repeal that will be in place until at least September.
With the electricity rebate reaching bills in July, August and September, and the natural gas rebate starting in October, the Government of Alberta will provide continuous monthly relief for millions of Albertans until March 31, 2023.
• Starting Oct. 1, natural gas consumers connected to the distribution system will automatically receive credits directly on their regular monthly bills to cover costs that exceed $6.50 per gigajoule. The exact timing will vary depending on your billing cycle.
• Starting Oct. 1, eligible consumers using other heating fuels that are petroleum-based will be able to apply for rebates through a separate rebate application process since they are not connected to the distribution system.
• Details on the rebate program are available on alberta.ca and additional information will be released in the coming months.