Electricity rebates announced by the UCP government more than three months ago will start rolling in next month.
In a news release Wednesday afternoon, the province said nearly two million Albertans will receive rebates on their electricity bills starting in July.
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More than 1.9 million homes, farms and small businesses will receive monthly credits of $50 on their electricity bills for July, August and September, for a total of $150.
“We are providing targeted support to help hard-working Albertans cope with the rising cost of living,” Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Power Dale Nally said in a statement.
“These rebates, combined with the fuel tax exemption and the upcoming natural gas rebate, will help the vast majority of Alberta households pay their bills while we make the long-term changes needed to make the more affordable energy in the years to come.
The rebates were announced by Premier Jason Kenney in early March to relieve Albertans of soaring utility costs.
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Albertans who are currently connected to the system and have consumed electricity in the past calendar year — up to a maximum of 250 megawatt hours per year — are automatically eligible for rebates, depending on the province.
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The government said the $50 rebates will be automatic on eligible people’s bills; Albertans do not need to apply to receive a refund.
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NDP Energy Critic Kathleen Ganley said “that’s pretty much the definition of too little, too late.”
“It’s been more than three months since (former finance minister) Travis Toews promised these rebates and more since they were needed. These are months of punitive bills that have soared hundreds of dollars above what Albertans paid last year,” Ganley said. “This month, families will receive $50 back. It’s a big deal, but for most people, it doesn’t even reduce electricity bills that have gone up by hundreds of dollars.
“Many Alberta families are struggling to buy food, pay their rent or their mortgage, cover their bills,” she continued. “Fifty dollars won’t solve this problem.”
The rebate will be heard on each invoice in the form of an item titled “GOA Utility Commodity Rebate”.
Anyone who thinks they’re eligible for the rebate but doesn’t see it on their July bill can contact the Utilities Consumer Advocate.
Fuel tax relief continues
The province also reiterated Wednesday that Albertans will continue to save the provincial gasoline or diesel tax of 13 cents per liter for at least three months.
The province stopped collecting the tax on April 1, as another way to help Albertans save money as fuel prices continue to rise.
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When the savings were announced earlier this year, the province said the initiative would be in place for the full 2022-23 fiscal year, but would be reassessed on July 1 and quarterly thereafter. . It will also be reviewed before the next government budget.
Alberta’s gas tax is removed on a sliding scale. When WTI oil exceeds US$90 per barrel, the tax will be removed. When the price is below US$80 per barrel, the tax will be in full effect.
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Natural gas reimbursement
Also Wednesday, the province said details of its next natural gas rebate will be announced “soon.” Reimbursement was announced in the spring budget and the province announced Wednesday that it would begin in October.
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