WHEREAS the Province of Alberta has developed a Natural Gas Rebate Program to aid Albertans with the high price of natural gas for the months of October to March;AND WHEREAS the Natural Gas Rebate Program is in year three of a three-year program ending March 31, 2006;AND WHEREAS the high cost of natural gas continues to create financial difficulties for Albertans, particularly the agriculture sector and those on fixed incomes;AND WHEREAS municipalities in the Province of Alberta are impacted through higher than anticipated utility costs for recreation and public facilities;AND WHEREAS increases in natural gas prices provides the Province of Alberta significant increases in revenue as a result of enhanced royalties;AND WHEREAS only 2 per cent of the natural gas produced in Alberta qualifies under the current program;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Provincial Government to adjust the third year of the Natural Gas Rebate Program to incorporate a year round rebate starting in the month of October, and establish the rebate program to ensure Albertans pay no more than $4.00/GJ for natural gas;AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to renew the Natural Gas Rebate Program to end March 31, 2006 as revised.
Natural gas prices in Alberta continue to be a financial hardship for those Albertans engaged in the agriculture sector and those on fixed incomes. Additionally, municipalities are also burdened with increasing energy costs through community facilities such as ice arenas, swimming pools, recreations centres, and community halls.The Provincial Government instituted a rebate program to help Albertans offset the high cost of energy, particularly natural gas. The current program provides a rebate to Albertans for the months of October through to March providing that 2 out of 3 regulated gas company’s price of gas exceeds $5.50/GJ. The current rebate program is as follows:If the gas cost on the bill is: ($/GJ) Rebate will be:($/GJ) Net consumer cost per GJ Rebate on the average bill*>$5.50 to $7.50 $1.50 $4.001-$6.00 $34.50>$7.50 to $9.00 $2.50 $5.001-$6.50 $57.50>$9.00 to $12.00 $3.25 $5.751-$8.75 $74.75Over $12.00/GJ $3.25 plus a set per GJ amount determined by the Alberta price $8.76/Gj $74.75 plus* Assuming consumption of 23 GJ/monthThis resolution suggests the Province re-evaluate its existing Natural Gas Rebate Program to include a year round rebate program that guarantees Albertans pay no more than $4.00/GJ regardless of the price of natural gas. Additionally, as the Natural Gas Rebate Program is scheduled to end March 31, 2006, wrapping up a three year commitment, the Provincial Government is urged to continue providing Albertans with a rebate program that deals with high natural gas prices as well as incorporating the recommended changes to program duration and rebate levels.
The 2006 budget expanded the natural gas rebate program to include October to March 31 (six months) every year until 2009. The current $5.50 per gigajoule (GJ) trigger price, rebate amounts and $8.75 per GJ price cap for Albertans on the regulated rate remain unchanged and continue to be part of the program. The budget also allows for farmers to choose an ‘after the fact rebate’ for any six months they see fit.