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Keeping Alberta Affordable: Eligible seniors and families with children under 18 can apply for $600 affordability payments. Learn more and apply now

Affordability Action Plan

Overview

Taking quick, effective action to cut costs and deliver relief to help families, businesses and vulnerable Albertans.

Learn about affordability payments

Overview

Alberta's economy has recovered strongly, but many people are struggling with the rising cost of living due to inflation.

We want to help. The Affordability Action Plan is taking quick, effective action. We have announced $2.8 billion in new relief measures that will cut costs for all Albertans and businesses, and $600 affordability payments to help parents, seniors and vulnerable people with their daily living costs. 

Find out how you benefit.

Affordability payments

Now accepting applications!
Seniors, families with children under 18, and Albertans on benefit programs can get financial support to help with the rising cost of living.

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Seniors

Seniors 65 and older can apply to get $600.

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Families with children

Families can apply for $600 per child under 18.

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Albertans on core supports

AISH, PDD, Income Support and Seniors Benefit clients automatically get $600.

Energy affordability programs

Fuel tax relief, electricity rebate and natural gas program have been expanded to help more Albertans this winter.

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Fuel tax relief

Alberta drivers will automatically save when filling up at the pump.

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Electricity rebates

Over 1.9 million homes, farms and businesses will receive rebates to cover high electricity costs.

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Natural gas rebates

Rebates will protect Albertans from high heating costs if monthly rates go above $6.50/gigajoule.

  • Fuel tax relief

    Update: Drivers pay even less at the pump now that the entire provincial fuel tax is suspended as part of the Affordability Action Plan.

    How it works

    • From January 1 to June 30, 2023, the entire fuel tax will be lifted so drivers save:
      • 13 cents per litre on gasoline and diesel
      • 4 cents per litre on marked gasoline and diesel
    • After June 2023, the fuel tax relief program will be reviewed every quarter based on the average price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI).
      • Fuel tax will be suspended when prices exceed $90 and restored when prices fall below $80.
      • Fuel tax will be applied partially when prices are between $80 and $90 – at 4.5 cents per litre from $85 to $89.99 and 9 cents per litre from $80 to $84.99.
      • Fuel tax will not increase more than 9 cents per litre per quarter.
      • The next change to the relief program will occur on July 1 at the earliest.
    • Fuel tax is still collected on rail, propane and aviation fuels.
    • Learn more about Alberta's fuel tax relief (PDF, 147 KB).

    How much drivers will save when filling up

    Calculations include the associated reduction in GST, for total savings of 13.6 cents per litre of gasoline and diesel.
    Vehicle (tank size in litres) $ saved per fillup $ per month (4 fillups) $ for 6 months
    Semi-trailer (1,364L) $185.50 $742.00 $4,452.00
    Ford F-150 (136L) $18.50 $74.00 $444.00
    Grand Cherokee (93L) $12.65 $50.60 $303.60
    Toyota Corolla (50L) $6.80 $27.20 $163.20
  • Electricity rebates

    Update: Electricity rebates will be extended to April 2023 as part of the Affordability Action Plan.

    How it works now

    Many Albertans are facing high electricity bills. To help cover the costs, we are providing $500 in rebates to over 1.9 million homes, farms, and small businesses.

    • Monthly rebates will be applied directly to eligible electricity bills, for a total of $500.
      • $50 rebates on power bills from July to December 2022
      • $75 rebates on power bills in January and February 2023
      • $25 rebates on power bills in March and April 2023
    • Rebates will be applied each month and will appear as a credit on your bill listed under the "GOA Utility Commodity Rebate"
    • Eligible consumers will automatically receive the rebate no application or action is required

    Eligibility

    • You are automatically eligible for the rebate if you are an electricity customer who:
      • is currently connected to the system and receive a monthly bill directly from a utility provider
      • consumed less than 250 megawatt hours of electricity within the past year
      • disconnected from the system for missed payment but is still enrolled with an electricity retailer
    • You are not eligible for a rebate if you:
      • disconnected from the system and are not enrolled with an electricity retailer
      • don't receive monthly bills directly from a utility provider because you live in a sub-metered residence (some condos and apartments); only the main site that connects directly to the distribution system is eligible to receive the rebate, if it consumes less than 250 megawatt hours per year
      • provide yard or street lighting services

    Watch out for scams

    • The Government of Alberta will not send texts or emails about the rebate program and will not ask Albertans to submit information to receive rebates.
  • Electricity price protection

    Electricity consumers on the Regulated Rate Option (RRO) will be protected from high power bills this winter as part of the Affordability Action Plan.

    How it works

    • Consumers on the RRO will not be charged more than 13.5 cents per kilowatt hour in January, February and March 2023.
    • Any costs above the 13.5 cent price ceiling will be deferred until rates drop and will be repaid over 21 months (April 2023 to December 2024).
    • This is a temporary measure while we explore longer-term solutions for the RRO to help keep energy affordable for Alberta families.

    Tip!

    • To save even more, find out if switching to a fixed rate is right for you. The current 13-month average is 7.83 cents/kWh. Get unbiased information at UCAhelps.ca.
  • Natural gas rebates

    Update: As part of the Affordability Action Plan, the Natural Gas Rebate program will be extended beyond its current March 30, 2023 end date. Details will be announced in the new year once regulations are tabled.

    Current rebate rate

    To help Albertans manage higher winter heating costs due to volatile natural gas prices, we're running an energy rebate program from October 2022 to March 2023 to shield consumers from price spikes.

    Most Albertans will receive the rebates automatically on their utility bill, but a small number of people not connected to the natural gas system or using other heating fuels will need to apply.

    • Highest default monthly natural gas rate (the Alberta price) for February 2023: $3.715 per gigajoule
    • No rebate will be credited for the February billing period but price protection is in place and rebates will be offered in March if the monthly rate rises above $6.50/gigajoule.

    How it works

    • Rebates will be applied directly to all eligible consumers' utility bill if the regulated monthly natural gas rate charged by any one of Alberta's 3 regulated utility providers is above $6.50 per gigajoule.
      • Each month we will post the highest price default natural gas rate (the Alberta price) from the 3 regulated utility providers (ATCO North, ATCO South, and APEX Utilities).
      • If the published Alberta price is above $6.50 per gigajoule, rebates will cover the difference between $6.50 per gigajoule and the regulated rate that calendar month. For example, if the Alberta price is $7.50, eligible consumers would get a rebate on their bill covering $1 for every gigajoule used.
      • Exact timing of the rebates will vary depending on your billing cycle.
    • Program runs from the start of October 2022 until the end of March 2023.

    Eligibility

    • You will automatically receive the rebate on your utility bill if you are a natural gas consumer who:
      • is connected to the system
      • is on either a regulated or competitive plan
      • uses less than 2,500 gigajoules of natural gas annually
    • You can receive a rebate if your household, small apartment building, farm, or small industrial or commercial operation is not connected to the natural gas system or uses other heating fuels under the maximum limit:
      • Propane: 16,334 litres per month
      • Heating oil: 10,780 litres per month
      • Kerosene: 11,068 litres per month
      • Non-connected natural gas: 417 gigajoules per month
    • Information on rebate application process for non-connected consumers and those using petroleum-based heating fuels will be available soon.

    Watch out for scams

    • The Government of Alberta will not send texts or emails about the rebate program and will not ask Albertans to submit information to receive rebates.
  • Get help

    Questions about your bill

    • Contact the Utilities Consumer Advocate at 310-4822 or email [email protected] for support if you believe you meet the eligibility criteria, but did not get a rebate on your natural gas bill.
    • Assistance information for consumers who are not connected to the natural gas system or consume other eligible heating fuels will be listed when the program starts. 

    Utility costs

    Phishing scams

    • The Government of Alberta will not send texts or emails about the rebate program and will not ask Albertans to submit information to receive rebates.
    • Be wary of any emails or texts related to the rebates that seem suspicious or ask for personal information.

    Financial assistance

  • Want lower utility bills?

    The Utilities Consumer Advocate can help you understand your bill, offer tips to reduce energy, and find ways to save.

    Visit UCA Helps

Help for vulnerable Albertans

The Affordability Action Plan includes measures to help Albertans with their daily living costs.

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Financial benefit increases

AISH, Income Support, seniors and child benefit payments will go up 6% in 2023 and will be indexed to keep up with inflation.

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Low-income transit passes

Helping more Albertans in need get where they need to go for less.

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Food bank funding

Helping food banks put nutritious food on more tables by providing $20 million in funding over 2 years.

  • AISH benefits increase

    We are increasing monthly benefits for Albertans with disabilities to help with the high cost of living.

    How it works

    • In 2023, AISH benefits will go up 6%.
    • In future years, benefits will be indexed to inflation. This means the amount will change each year so it keeps up with the cost of living.

    New monthly rates

    Monthly payments vary depending on your needs and family size. The examples below are the maximum monthly core benefit. Supplementary benefits will also go up 6% and be indexed for inflation.

    • Core benefits
      • $1,787 – Living allowance
      • $342 – Modified living allowance for those in an approved nursing home, auxiliary hospital or designated supportive living facility
    • Child benefits
      • $212 – First dependent child
      • $106 – Each additional dependent child

    When payments will go up

    Need help?

  • Income Support benefit increase

    We are increasing monthly benefits for Albertans out of work to help with the high cost of living.

    How it works

    • In 2023, Income Support benefits will go up 6%.
    • In future years, benefits will be indexed to inflation. This means the amount will change each year so it keeps up with the cost of living.

    New monthly rates

    Monthly payments vary depending on your needs and family size. The examples below are the maximum monthly core benefit. Supplementary benefits will also go up 6% and be indexed for inflation.

    Table 1: Expected to Work Clients

    Household composition Core essential benefit Core shelter benefit (private housing)
    Single adult $440 $350
    Single adult, 1 child $652 $592
    Single adult, 2 children $758 $613
    Couple, no children $711 $473
    Couple, 1 child $923 $624
    Couple, 2 children $1,029 $645

    Table 2: Barriers to Full Employment Clients

    Household composition Core essential benefit Core shelter benefit (private housing)
    Single adult $569 $350
    Single adult, 1 child $781 $592
    Single adult, 2 children $887 $613
    Couple, no children $903 $473
    Couple, 1 child $1,115 $624
    Couple, 2 children $1,221 $645

    When payments will go up

    Need help?

    • If you get Income Support benefits, call your caseworker or local office.
    • For all other questions, call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992.
  • Alberta Seniors Benefit increase

    We are increasing monthly benefits for seniors to help with the high cost of living.

    How it works

    • In 2023, Alberta Seniors Benefit will go up 6%.
    • In future years, benefits will be indexed to inflation. This means the amount will change each year so it keeps up with the cost of living.

    New monthly rates

    • $303, up from $286

    When payments will go up

    Need help?

  • Alberta Child and Family Benefit increase

    We are increasing benefits for families with children to help with the high cost of living.

    How it works

    • In 2023, Alberta Child and Family Benefit payments will go up 6%.
    • In future years, payments will be indexed to inflation. This means the amount will change each year so it keeps up with the cost of living.

    New annual rates

    Annual Alberta Child and Family Benefit amounts, paid quarterly, vary depending on family size. The examples below are the maximum base amount.

    • $1,330 up to $1,450 - one child
    • $1,995 up to $2,193 - 2 children
    • $2,660 up to $2,920 - 3 children
    • $3,325 up to $3,632 - 4 or more children

    When payments will go up

    Need help?

  • Low-income transit passes

    We are expanding funding for low-income transit passes to help more Albertans in need get where they need to go without breaking the bank. The funding allows communities to offer monthly bus passes to low-income residents at subsidized rates.

    What we are doing

    • Investing $15 million in new funding to help:
      • Calgary and Edmonton provide their low-income transit programs throughout the year ($4.5M each)
      • Expand funding to more municipalities across the province
    • Details on how to access this funding will be shared directly with eligible municipalities.

    How residents can get a low-income transit pass

    • Eligibility and subsidy levels are set by each community.
    • If you live in a community that offers low-income transit passes, contact your local municipality to find out if you are eligible, the cost, and how to get a pass.

    Communities with existing low-income transit pass programs

    • Airdrie, Bow Valley, Banff, Calgary, Canmore, Cochrane, Cold Lake, Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Grande Prairie, Medicine Hat, St. Albert, and Strathcona County.

    News

    Helping Albertans in need get from point A to B (February 2, 2023)

  • Food bank funding

    The rising cost of food is making it harder for Albertans to provide for themselves and their families. Many people are turning to food banks for help.

    What we're doing

    We are helping local food banks and organizations put nutritious meals on more tables by providing $20 million in funding over 2 years.

    • $5 million each year will be distributed to food banks through the Family and Community Support Services Association of Alberta.
      • $3 million to established food banks in December 2022 to purchase and transport food, and help pay for front line staff.
      • $2 million to eligible civil society organizations through the Food Security Grant.
    • $5 million each year will be used to support donation-matching campaigns to encourage more Albertans to donate to their local food bank.
      • We will match up to $5 million in donations received by food banks and related civil society organizations from December 1 to December 31, 2022 through the Donation Matching Grant.

    How it works

    • Read the Food Security Grant and Donation Matching Grant guidelines to learn about eligibility criteria and how to apply.
    • Applications will be accepted online until January 31, 2023.
    • Applicants will be notified by email by February 28, 2023.
    • If you are unable to access the online application, contact [email protected].
    • We recognize that our community partners are in the best position to identify and understand local needs.
    • Funding provided to each food bank is based on the service area and the number of individuals served.
    • Food banks receiving funding were identified based on their participation in Food Banks Canada 2022 Hunger Count.

    Need help?

    • To find a food bank or charity in your area, call or visit 211 Alberta.

Help for workers and drivers

Income tax relief, affordable child care and auto insurance measures to help working Albertans.

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Income tax relief

All working Albertans can earn more before they start paying provincial income taxes.

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Child care

Alberta families have more options for affordable child care.

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Auto insurance

Alberta drivers will get some relief from insurance rate and payment plan changes.

  • Indexing personal income taxes

    Many Albertan will receive a higher refund or owe less tax in 2022, and will benefit from lower tax deductions on the paycheques in 2023.

    • Basic personal amounts, other credit amounts and income thresholds will be indexed to inflation.
    • Annual basic personal amounts are expected to go up:
      • 2.3% in 2022, an increase from $19,369 to $19,814
      • 6% in 2023, an increase from $19,814 to $21,003
    • Around 1.3 million tax filers don't pay any provincial income tax. Nearly 95,000 more Albertans won't have to pay by 2023.
  • Making child care more affordable and accessible

    We are helping to make child care more affordable and accessible for families by reducing child care fees, increasing subsidy eligibility, and creating thousands more child care spaces as part of the made-in-Alberta child care agreement we successfully negotiated with the federal government.

    Reducing fees

    • Licensed child care programs and operators are eligible for affordability grants so they can:
      • reduce parent fees for all kids 0 to kindergarten age by half
      • lower average child care fees to $10 per day by 2026

    Expanding child care subsidy eligibility

    • Families with household incomes under $180,000 can now reduce their fees even more by applying for child care subsidy if they have children 0 to kindergarten age attending full-time licensed child care or preschool.

    Creating more child care spaces

    • We're helping parents access the flexible and high-quality child care options that work best for them by:
      • supporting high-quality licensed child care - preschools, daycare and family day homes under a licensed agency
      • creating 42,500 new non-profit child care spaces by 2026
      • creating 22,500 new private spaces by 2026 under the new Cost Control Framework and For-Profit Expansion Plan
      • ensuring flexibility for families requiring drop-in or overnight child care
      • supporting children with specific learning, linguistic, cultural and other needs

    Learn more about the federal-provincial child care agreement

  • Taking action on auto insurance

    We are taking action to help make auto insurance more affordable for Alberta drivers.

    Rate increase pause

    • Pausing insurance rate increases on private passenger vehicles until the end of 2023. This means:
      • No new insurance rate increases will be approved for the remainder of 2023.
      • Some drivers may still see rate increases on their renewals in 2023 due to:
        • previously approved rate changes
        • changes to driving records, including at-fault claims or tickets
        • changes to insurance profiles such as a new address or different vehicle

    Payment plans

    • Requiring insurance companies to provide most Albertans with an option to pay premiums through payment plans rather than annually.

    Consumer tips

    • Shop around or work with your insurance company to get the best rate.
    • Bundle your vehicle, home or property insurance to save up to 20%.
    • Be a good driver to get discounts.

Other ways we are helping you save

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    Lower overall taxes

    Albertans pay less in overall taxes with no PST, no payroll tax or health premium, as well as a low provincial income tax indexed for inflation that about 40% of Alberta tax filers don't pay. A couple earning $75,000 with 2 children would pay $1,500 more in B.C. and $3,900 more in Ontario.

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    Albertans earn more

    Alberta workers have the highest weekly earnings ($1,226) in the country, while households have the highest median after-tax income ($104,000), which is $7,000 higher than Ontario and $10,000 higher than BC.

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    Affordable broadband for all

    The Alberta Broadband Strategy will bring affordable, reliable, high-speed internet to rural Albertans across the province over the next 4 years.

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    Supporting students

    The New Beginnings Bursary provides $5,000 to low-income students studying in high-demand programs to help pay for tuition, fees, supplies and living costs. This financial support does not need to be repaid.

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    Affordable child care

    Families of children 0 to kindergarten-age earning up to $180,000 are now eligible for subsidy to lower child care costs. By 2026, all families will pay an average of $10 per day and 42,500 new licensed spaces will be added so families can choose the care that works for them.

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    Housing is affordable

    Alberta has some of the lowest housing prices and rental costs among Canadian urban centres. A smaller share of income is spent on home ownership costs – 31% in Edmonton and 42% in Calgary vs. the Canadian average of 63%.

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    Rent assistance

    The Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit helps eligible tenants who are low income or between jobs afford their rent while they stabilize or improve their situation.

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    Affordable school transportation

    The Fuel Price Contingency Program will remain in place for the 2022-23 school year to help school authorities cover higher transportation costs, providing millions of dollars in additional student transportation funding.

News

January 17, 2023

Affordability payment portal opens January 18

Beginning January 18 at 9 a.m., eligible Alberta parents and seniors can apply to receive $600 in affordability payments over six months.

January 9, 2023

Inflation relief portal and payments coming soon

Monthly $100 affordability payments for families, seniors, and vulnerable Albertans will be released soon, and Albertans can act now to get ready.

December 13, 2022

Supporting Alberta’s most vulnerable

Alberta’s government is taking action to make life more affordable for families, Albertans with disabilities, seniors and those out of work.