Alberta extends natural gas rebate program for three years; October continues as a sixth rebate month
February 1, 2006, Edmonton... Alberta’s natural gas rebate program will continue to shield Albertans from high home heating costs until March 2009, due to a three-year extension of the program by the provincial government.
“Alberta’s one-of-a-kind rebate program is one of the ways Albertans share in the benefits of resource ownership,” said Greg Melchin, Minister of Energy. “Over seven hundred million dollars in assistance has been provided to Albertans since this program was introduced three years ago. Not only is the province maintaining this program for another three years, we’re making a few upgrades to expand the assistance given to consumers.”
As was done this past fall, October will continue to be a rebate month under the program. This gives consumers financial assistance over the six-month time period when they use almost 80 per cent of their annual natural gas. Other changes include giving agricultural consumers the ability to select their six rebate months after the fact, rather than in advance and consumers who receive their heat from district heating systems that utilize renewable energy may now be eligible to receive financial assistance from the rebate program.
The bulk of the program remains unchanged. Most Albertans will continue to receive the rebate directly on their natural gas bill when two of the three major gas companies charge regulated rates over $5.50 per gigajoule (GJ). The rebate amount will continue to increase as the price of gas rises, with the maximum cost of natural gas to most Alberta consumers capped at $8.75/GJ.
All eligible homes and businesses, regardless of whether they pay the regulated rate or are part of a competitive contract, receive rebates under the Natural Gas Rebate Program. Consumers using propane, kerosene, and heating oil are eligible to apply for equivalent rebates when natural gas rebates are triggered. Albertans already have among the lowest gas prices in Canada before the rebate is factored in, with Albertans paying approximately five per cent less than the national average in 2005.
More information on Alberta’s Natural Gas Rebate Program can be found on the Alberta government’s web site at: www.gov.ab.ca.
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