Natural gas has been deregulated in Alberta since 1985, and the retail market open for consumer choice since 2004. As is the case with electricity, the cost of your gas includes both the supply and the costs of delivering it to your home. It is a good idea to understand your natural gas bill, so that you can take advantage of Alberta's deregulated natural gas market and make the best choice for your natural gas supplier. Energy supply is not the only part of your bill; transmission and distribution also make up the cost of your gas. These costs are regulated by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC). Learn more about energy deregulation in Alberta
Components of your bill
You will receive your gas bill from your chosen energy retailer, though you will find contact information for your natural gas utility on your bill as well (as they are responsible for delivering gas supply to your home and for responding to any concerns with the functioning of your meter). Your bill will contain the following information:
Statement date: the date when your bill was generated and/or mailed to you
Account number: this is the number of your account. You will need to have this on hand when you contact your utility or energy supplier. It is important that the entire number as appears on your bill is to used pay it.
Service address: the address of the site being charged for gas use
Site number ("Site ID", "Premise Number"): this is the number on your account that is used to link your service address and meter information and to bill your consumption correctly
Meter number: you can find your meter number on the face of your gas meter
Usage dates: your bill will indicate the dates of gas use that this bill covers.
Conversion factor: this is used to convert the volume of gas that you used into an amount that can be billed
Energy charges: here you will find a breakdown of the cost of the energy you used in the past month, based on your consumption (in GJ) and the rate. You will also find the name and contact information for your energy supplier (either your local utility or a competitive energy retailer)
Administration charge: this covers the costs of billing and customer service. This charge is approved by the AUC if you get your supply from your utility and is expressed either as a daily or monthly charge.
Delivery charges: these are charged by your local utility to recover the costs of delivering your gas, and are approved by the AUC. Delivery charges include:
- Fixed delivery charges: to cover costs for building, operating, and maintaining the gas distribution system that brings it to your home
- Variable delivery charges: charges based on the amount of gas that you consume to cover costs for operating and maintaining the gas distribution system
- Municipal franchise fee: collected on behalf of the local government for allowing your gas utility to use municipal lands for the gas distribution system
- Rate riders: rate riders are AUC-approved temporary credits/charges that are added to your bill in order to more accurately reflect the true costs of delivery
Local Access Fee: this is charged by your local municipality for the electric utility to use the municipal land for the electric distribution system and/or for the right to be the exclusive distributor for the area. It is not approved by the AUC.
Meter reading: your meter should be read once about once every one to two months, though sometimes reading will be estimated. Your utility will indicate whether the meter readings are actual, estimated, or adjusted.
Due date: the date when you must pay your bill. Late payments are usually subject to a monthly 1.5% late payment fee.
GST: the total of your bill is subject to GST
How will my bill change if I choose an energy retailer for my supply?
When you switch energy retailers you will start receiving your monthly bill from them. Your gas supply should not be interrupted, and your local gas distribution utility will remain responsible for ensuring gas delivery to your home. Any questions about billing or other customer service-related issues should be directed to your new energy retailer.