Are you looking for more information about natural gas prices in Alberta?
The Cost of Natural Gas in Alberta
|Cost of Natural Gas in Alberta|
While natural gas prices in Canada were deregulated in the 1980s, the retail market for natural gas was not opened to competition in Alberta until 2004. This means that Alberta residents have a choice of who supplies their natural gas, and what kind of price they pay for their supply (fixed, floating, or regulated). As is the case for electricity, the cost of natural gas can be broken down into two main categories: delivery charges and the cost of the gas supply itself. Natural gas prices in Alberta are among the cheapest in Canada, as delivery costs are much less than in other provinces.
Price Options for Your Natural Gas Supply
|Natural Gas Price Options in Alberta|
You have three main choices for the kind of price that you pay for your natural gas supply. The default option is the regulated rate, which is what you pay if you do not choose to purchase a contract for your natural gas. This rate, which is approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) is offered by the regulated rate provider that provides service in your area. Regulate rate providers have the exclusive right to sell regulated-rate natural gas within the service territory of a natural gas utility. Regulated rates for natural gas are based on market prices, but regulated rate providers must follow a specific process for procuring natural gas supply, which has been approved by the AUC.
If you choose to purchase a contract for your natural gas supply from a competitive energy retailer you have one of two price options: a fixed rate, or a floating rate. A floating rate is tied to the market price for gas, plus a transaction fee (no more than $2/GJ). Choosing the floating rate means having to put up with a certain amount of price volatility, but over the long run usually works out to being the cheapest option. Some energy suppliers even offer a price cap during the winter months.
Competitive energy retailers are also able to offer fixed prices for natural gas. Choosing a fixed rate means that you are able to lock in a price for your natural gas that will not change throughout the length of your contract. The advantage of choosing a fixed rate is the stability and predictability it offers, which can be helpful for budgeting purposes. However, in general we do not recommend fixed rates for natural gas, as it makes more sense to take advantage of low market prices at the moment.
Some competitive energy retailers offer dual fuel plans, in which you purchase your natural gas and power supply from the same provider. Dual fuel plans may be more convenient and many retailers offer additional discounts or advantages if you choose them. If you are unsure of what type of natural gas contract is right for you, we invite you to check out our dedicated article, Should I Choose Fixed or Floating Prices for My Natural Gas Supply?
As a non-renewable fossil fuel, natural gas does not fit in with a strict definition of green energy. However, some competitive energy retailers offer options that allow you to "green" your natural gas supply. You can find out more about green natural gas options in our comparison of what's on offer in Alberta.