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.