By Collin Gallant on January 3, 2018.
Medicine Hat News
The cost of heating a home in Medicine Hat will fall in January, even when an increase to provincial carbon levy is factored in, new local rates reveal.
A jump to a $30 carbon price on New Year’s day added about 50-cents to the charge on natural gas, though the independent commodity price fell by 54-cents in new local rates.
However, the now $1.52-levy on each gigajoule of natural gas nearly doubles the purchase price of gas, considering the consumer rate is near a historical low of $1.74.
In 2017 the Alberta carbon levy was set at $20 per tonne and placed on most petroleum products. This year’s $10 increase added 50-cents to natural gas.
The current charge on gasoline moves up about 2.7-cents to a total of 8.03-cents per litre. The rate on diesel increases 2.2-cents to a total of 6.73-cents per litre.
Several stations in Medicine Hat advertised prices of about $1.13 per litre of gas on Tuesday, reflecting the increase.
United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney said the tax isn’t working, hasn’t resulted in pipeline construction and is hurting Albertans at a bad time.
“Today, despite never having mentioned a carbon tax during the 2015 election, the NDP digs even deeper into the pockets of everyday Albertans,” he said in a statement.
Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said the revenue is diversifying the energy system, the economy and paying for major infrastructure projects.
“Our made-in-Alberta Climate Leadership Plan works for Albertans and Alberta’s economy… (and has) put a meaningful dent in emissions reductions,” she said. “We will continue to protect Alberta’s health, wealth and growth in 2018.”
About $1.4 billion in levy funds are earmarked for grants to industry or research programs.
About $310 million will be rebated to residential power consumers. The maximum rebate rises to $540 per year for a family of four with an income less than $95,000.
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