On October 1, the province-wide natural gas rebate program will commence and will last until the end of March. However, the province has underlined that the exact rebate amount that Albertans will receive will depend on the default natural gas rate each month.
"From October 1 through March 31, any time the monthly default rate exceeds $6.50 per gigajoule, a rebate will be issued to all eligible Albertans to help cover the increased costs of the natural gas or other petroleum-based heating fuels they consume that month. For example, if the highest regulated rate is $7.50, eligible consumers would get a rebate of $1 for every gigajoule used in that month."
As October’s highest monthly default natural gas rate will be $5.632 per gigajoule, the rebate will not be triggered this month but the rebate program is ready and in place to support families and businesses should natural gas prices spike this winter.
The province gave an example, citing that if one's monthly default natural gas rate from any of the regulated utility providers, such as ATCO Gas North and ATCO Gas South, as served by Direct Energy Regulated Services, or Apex Utilities goes above $6.50 per gigajoule, the government will provide rebates to all eligible consumers that month covering the difference between $6.50 and the highest regulated rate.
According to the Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity, Dale Nally, the provincial rebate program will provide protection and certainty to help families, farms and businesses manage heating costs and keep life affordable.
"We’re protecting Albertans, including those on competitive rate contracts, from the possibility of extraordinary price spikes on their winter heating bills," he stated in a press release.
Albertans automatically receive the rebate on their utility bill for the month and a rebate is triggered if a natural gas consumer who is connected to the system, is on either a regulated or competitive plan, and uses less than 2,500 gigajoules of natural gas annually. This also applies to consumers on both regulated and competitive plans like fixed-rate contracts.
"No application is necessary if you are connected to the natural gas distribution system."
However, a small number of eligible Albertans are not connected to the natural gas distribution system and are using natural gas, propane, kerosene or heating oil for heating purposes. These consumers also tend to purchase winter heating fuels in bulk in the summer months, and the rebate is reflective of this trend. T
Those in this category can apply for rebates based on purchased fuel in months in which the rebate is in effect up to the following maximum limits:
propane: 16,334 litres per month
heating oil: 10,780 litres per month
kerosene: 11,068 litres per month
natural gas: 417 gigajoules per month
"If you use these heating fuels, you will be able to apply directly online for a rebate at alberta.ca after the program launches in October. Mail-in and telephone options will also be available."
The monthly default natural gas rate will also be posted on alberta.ca about five business days before the start of each month, letting Albertans know if the rebate will be triggered and how much they will receive per gigajoule that month.
According to the province, Alberta’s natural gas rebate program will provide cost certainty and protection to more than 1.6 million families, farms and businesses across the province.
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