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Utility Payment Deferral Program Rate Rider

The Utility Payment Deferral Program was implemented by the provincial government in response to the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Utility customers were able to defer their bill payments between March 18, 2020 and June 18, 2020. All Alberta energy retailers were required to allow repayment of these bills until June 18, 2021. The deadline for repayment has now passed.

Most customers repaid the amount they owed, but some customers were not able to pay. To recover the unpaid amount, the government of Alberta has implemented a Distribution Rider which will be applied to all Alberta utility consumer bills. The rider will apply to all consumers of natural gas and electricity, not just those who used the program. Even large commercial accounts that did not qualify for the Utility Payment Deferral Program will be asked to pay the rider. This rider impacts all customers, regardless of their retailer, and is an Alberta government policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

The rider is $0.037 (3.7 cents) per GJ for gas; for electricity it is $0.43 (43 cents) per megawatt-hour (MWh), or 0.043 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

  • The charge on an average residential natural gas bill will be approximately $0.78. (Average AB residential consumption is 21 GJ per month during the winter months. 21 GJ/month x $0.037/GJ = $0.78/month.)
  • The charge on an average residential electricity bill will be approximately $0.26 (26 cents). (Average AB residential consumption is 600 kWh per month. $0.43 (43 cents) per MWh is equivalent to 0.043 cents per kWh. 600 kWh x $0.043 cents per kWh = $0.26/month.)

You may contact the Alberta Department of Energy for further information. Alternatively, you can reach out to your Member of the Legislative Assembly's (MLA's) office.

It will be applied from November 1, 2021 to February 28, 2022.
This policy has been placed on all retailers, including Direct Energy, by the Alberta government.
The rider is not optional, it will apply to all consumers of natural gas and electricity, not just those who used the program. Even large commercial accounts that did not qualify for deferral will be asked to pay the rider.
Yes, the Distribution Rider will apply to all consumers regardless of which retailer you choose. Switching companies won't allow you to avoid the rider.
You may contact the Alberta Utilities Commission for further information. Alternatively, you can reach out to your Member of the Legislative Assembly's (MLA's) office.

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for questions on billing, our services, and more.

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