Albertans on variable rate plans or those on regulated energy rates can expect more volatility in energy prices than they have experienced in the past, because of factors that are beyond a single energy provider. This can also affect new fixed rates when contracts come up for renewal.
Increases in electricity rates are due to market factors including, but not limited to, seasonal high or low temperatures, higher energy demand as society recovers from the pandemic, higher inflation, and ongoing precipitation conditions across Western North America that are tightening electricity supply regionally and increasing demand on our grid systems.
Increases in natural gas rates are due to lower supply across North America and anticipated demand over the winter months.
Check out our Energy Saving Tips for easy and low-cost ways to reduce energy consumption.
The money we all pay for our energy supports creating the energy and getting it to you to use in your home.
These fees pay for costs associated with producing electricity and natural gas and are set by the companies that create the energy.
These costs support the maintenance and building of the electricity wires and natural gas lines that move energy around Alberta.
How much electricity and natural gas you use every month is measured by a meter and you pay your provider for the energy you use.
In some areas in Alberta, your bill may also include municipal fees for water, wastewater/drainage, and waste/recycling each month.
Electricity and Natural Gas
* Bill breakdown estimates represent our average annual cost breakdown for a retail customer in Alberta from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
Instead of receiving multiple bills every month if you are in Calgary or Cardston, charges for municipal services are included on your ENMAX bill.
Pays for: The water you use each month.
Details: Depending on where you live, your water could be charged based on exactly what you’ve used (meter) or on a flat fee every month. Your fees are collected on your bill for convenience and then are transferred to your city or your municipality. Your city or municipality sets the rates associated with water in your area. Learn how to check for and eliminate water leaks on the City of Calgary’s
Water Leaks and Basic Repairs page or you can visit our
Water Use page for ideas and resources.
Pays for: Access to and the maintenance of the sewage system.
Details: Also referred to as Wastewater and Drainage, this fee is set by your local municipal government. These fees are collected on your bill and are passed on to local governments who use them for upgrades and repairs to the system.
View City of Calgary Wastewater and Drainage rates
Pays for: The collection of garbage, and the collection and processing of recycling and food and yard waste.
Details: Depending on the services offered in your area, this fee could be a flat monthly fee or may be broken down to a daily fee. Your municipality sets these fees which are collected as part of your bill.
Beyond the energy you use, you can also see charges that help support infrastructure maintenance and upgrades, as well as other fees related to energy.
for: The costs related to building and maintaining the distribution system as well as general utility operations. Distribution fees support networks or pipelines that move energy around the communities to your home or business where it will be used.
Details: This charge is collected on behalf of the local wires owner to help cover delivery related costs. It is charged regardless of which retail company you choose to supply electricity or natural gas. These charges are reviewed and approved by the regulator for your service area.
Pays for: Upgrades and maintenance for the wires and infrastructure that moves electricity from generation facilities to the Alberta communities where it’s used.
Details: This charge is collected on behalf of the Alberta Electricity System Operator. All Albertans and industry pay transmission fees, which can vary based on several factors. These charges are reviewed and approved by the regulator for your service area.
Pays for: Balancing cash flow associated with power purchase arrangements (PPA) and related events resulting from deregulation.
Details: Created by legislation, the balancing pool allocation hands back the costs and benefits of PPAs and related events resulting from deregulation to ratepayers.
Pays for: Adjustments to compensate for differences between the actual cost of electricity or natural gas and the approved rate for the service.
Details: Riders can be either a credit or a charge depending on the market conditions and are set by the Alberta Utilities Commission.
Pays for: Use of municipal land for electricity or natural gas equipment or the right to be the exclusive distributor for an area.
Details: This fee is collected by electricity or natural gas companies but is set by municipalities and can be based on a percentage of the energy or the delivery charge.
How much energy you use every month is measured by a meter and you are charged for the electricity or natural gas you use during a specific billing period.
Pays for: The electricity you use each month.
Details: Electricity is charged on a fixed rate (same rate every month)* or a variable rate (can rise and fall)*. What you use is measured by kilowatt hour (kWh). The average home in Alberta uses around 600 kilowatt hours every month.
Pays for: The natural gas you use each month.
Details: Similar to electricity, your natural gas is billed on either a fixed or variable rate*. Your use is charged by the gigajoule (GJ). The average home in Alberta uses around 9 gigajoules every month.
* Some conditions, admin, other fees and taxes beyond the electricity and natural gas rates also apply.
Details: As of April 1, 2021, the federal carbon tax on natural gas is $2.1025899/GJ. You can find more information on the
Government of Canada’s website.
Similar to other service providers, your bill can include charges that help pay for costs associated with your account.
Pays for: Billing and customer service
Details: Administration fees go towards costs such as billing, procurement, and customer services provided by your electricity or natural gas retailer. Each retailer sets this fee and you may be billed a flat monthly fee or a daily fee for these services.
Pays for: Costs associated with purchasing energy
Details: This charge helps offset the costs to purchase energy that is then sold to retail plan customers.
Details: Currently set at five percent, this tax is collected on behalf of the federal government.
Bill Guide to see where these various charges appear on your bill.
Customers are free to purchase natural gas services or electricity services from a retailer of their choice. For a list of retailers, visit ucahelps.alberta.ca or call 310-4822 (toll free in Alberta).