Natural gas rates and electricity rates in Alberta have been set for February.
Direct Energy Regulated Services (DERS) has announced that the natural gas rate for this month is going to be more than double what it was in January while electricity will be less.
Residents within the ATCO Gas South service area south of Red Deer who haven't opted for a competitive supplier will see the new rate jump to $4.43 per gigajoule (GJ) compared to $2.173 per GJ in January.
This adjustment aligns with the February market price of $2.189 per GJ, sourced from the Natural Gas Exchange (NGX). Additionally, it incorporates a $2.241 per GJ adjustment for the previous month.
Anticipating an average consumption of 16 GJ, the estimated gas bill for February is approximately $226.
In the ATCO Electric service area, the Regulated Rate Option (RRO) determines the cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) that regulated consumers must pay for electricity. Every month, the rates are changed to reflect the cost that DERS incurs while purchasing energy on behalf of its clients.
Here are the electric rates for February:
- Residential -17.937 (cents/kWh) - Price of Electricity including Recovery Charge
- Commercial -17.815 (cents/kWh) - Price of Electricity including Recovery Charge
- Industrial -17.059 (cents/kWh) - Price of Electricity including Recovery Charge
- Farm - 17.984 (cents/kWh) - Price of Electricity including Recovery Charge
All of those categories saw around a two-cent decrease per kWh compared to last month.
The energy rate for February reflects a roughly seven per cent reduction compared to the rate applied in the previous month. For a standard residential consumer using 600 kWh monthly, this translates to an estimated decrease of around $17.74 or 4 per cent in their total bill compared to last month.
The Farmers' Almanac, is predicting a frigid February where temperatures could get back to what we saw in mid-January. With that being said, when we had the extreme cold last month, Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) declared a grid alert asking Albertans to conserve as much power as possible otherwise we could see rolling blackouts.
According to AESO, they would direct Distribution Facility Owners (DFOs), such as municipalities, to reduce power on a pro-rata basis across the province. These outages would be expected to last approximately 30 minutes.
When asked if these rolling blackouts and grid alerts could have an effect on power bills for Albertans, a spokesperson for AESO stated they should not affect wholesale prices.
"Energy emergencies on their own do not materially impact wholesale electricity prices, especially over the long term. Because of the regulated price cap, when the AESO declares a Grid Alert, the pool price cannot go higher than $1,000/MWh. Also, real-time wholesale prices do not affect anyone on Regulated Rate Options (RROs) or fixed rate contracts. The RRO rate is set before the beginning of the month and fixed rates are guaranteed."
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