Click here to go directly to rate schedules for natural gas utilities.
There are two main components to natural gas rates: the retailer charges and the distribution charges:
A retailer provides retail services, such as billing and customer service, to consumers. Retailers also acquire the supply of natural gas to meet the needs of their customers.
Since 1998, Albertans may choose to continue receiving their natural gas from a default retailer that is regulated by the AUC, the regulated retailer, or they may choose to obtain their energy from a competitive retailer, where they sign a contract agreeing to a set price structure for the natural gas commodity with a competitive retailer of their choice. The AUC only reviews the rates charged by regulated retailers, such as Direct Energy Regulated Services and AltaGas Utilities. The AUC does not regulate the rates of competitive retailers or have any jurisdiction over the service provided by competitive retailers.
Regulated retailer charges include the energy commodity charge, which is calculated by multiplying the amount of natural gas used by a customer in the billing period, by the applicable monthly rate per gigajoule. The monthly rate that consumers pay for the gas commodity portion of their bill is called the gas cost flow-through rate (GCFR) for Direct Energy customers and the gas cost recovery rate (GCRR) for AltaGas customers. The AUC does not set natural gas prices in Alberta. Natural gas prices are set in an open and competitive market and are influenced by many variables throughout North America. The monthly prices charged by regulated retailers reflect market conditions. The AUC has established a framework for the regulated retailers to file their costs monthly, based solely on market factors, without any mark-up on the price of gas. Under this framework, the AUC reviews the GCFR or GCRR applications and ensures that only the actual cost of the gas that the regulated retailer has acquired or is forecast to acquire is passed on to customers.
Retailer charges also include non-energy rates. Non-energy rates are charges that recover the retailer’s costs of billing consumers for natural gas and providing customer service.
Click here to view Regulated Retailer rates
Distributors such as ATCO Gas and AltaGas Utilities, own the natural gas distribution systems that transport natural gas directly to customer homes. They are responsible for connecting and disconnecting customers, operating and maintaining the distribution systems, building further distribution systems when required, and providing meter reading services.
The costs incurred by the distributor to provide these services are recovered through their delivery charges, which are billed by the retailer on customer bills. Natural gas delivery charges and services remain fully regulated by the AUC. Delivery charges can include both a fixed charge and a usage or per gigajoule charge.
Click here to view Distribution charges
Terms and Conditions of Service
Terms and conditions of service (T&Cs) are approved by the AUC in rate applications. T&Cs provide guidelines, regulations, and rules for the distribution company, the regulated retailer and the customer to adhere to respecting the non-rate aspects of service. Customers agree to abide by the T&Cs by accepting natural gas service. The purpose of the terms and conditions of service is to bring guidance and standardization in quality of service and clarity on specific potentially contentious issues. Only provincial and federal legislation could supersede any or all portions of the terms and conditions of service.
Click here to view terms and conditions of service
For more information:
AUC Information: Natural Gas Utilities