COVID-19 info for Albertans
Alberta is taking action to protect Albertans and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Find out more at alberta.ca/COVID19
Albertans who are experiencing financial hardship directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic can work with their utility company to defer electricity and natural gas bills until June 18, 2020 without any late fees or added interest payments.
In addition, no Albertan can be cut off from these services or see their services reduced during this period.
You are eligible if you are experiencing financial hardship and cannot make your regular payments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, you:
- have been diagnosed with COVID-19
- have been directed by health authorities to self-isolate
- have lost your job
- are taking care of a family member
This applies to bills for residential, farm and small commercial:
- electricity consumers, who consume less than 250,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year
- natural gas consumers, who consume less than 2,500 gigajoules per year
Albertans who are able to pay their utilities are strongly encouraged to do so to allow greater support for those in need.
Albertans in arrears or behind in payments before the deferral program launched on March 18 are also eligible for a deferral.
How to defer utility payments
To arrange for a deferral and repayment plan, contact your natural gas or electricity provider directly.
You can sign up for the deferral at any time; however, the deferral ends on June 18, 2020. Starting June 19, the agreed upon repayment plan will be implemented.
In situations where rent and utilities are combined, contact your landlord directly to discuss the circumstances.
The Consumer Protection Act was amended to ensure sub-metering agreements, such as those between tenants and landlords are captured by the utility payment deferral program.
Payments will be required at the end of the deferral period, but you will not be required to pay for the entirety of the deferral on June 18.
Contact your utility provider to discuss repayment plan options.
In addition to the agreed repayment plan, consumers may:
- put down additional payments towards their balance
- pay one month and defer the next during the period between March 18 – June 18
- make changes or amendments to a payment schedule – including automatic payments
For support in negotiating a repayment plan that fits your budget or in resolving any service or billing issue, contact the Utilities Consumer Advocate.
For utility providers
All providers are affected by the utility deferral program, including:
- competitive retailers
- regulated rate option providers for electricity
- default rate providers for natural gas
- rural electrification associations
- gas cooperatives
- the City of Medicine Hat
The utility payment deferral applies to all customers, including those eligible for the Regulated Rate Option or Default Gas Supply.
Government and the Alberta Utilities Commission will work with utility companies to develop approaches for repayments that will help consumers pay back their deferred utilities within a reasonable time period.
For information other financial support programs available during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit:
- Protecting Alberta's families and economy (March 18, 2020)