July 16th, 2018

Home heating costs expected to fall, despite carbon tax

By Collin Gallant on January 3, 2018.

A vehicle drives by a service station on Division Avenue in Medicine Hat on Jan. 2. Alberta's carbon levy rose on New Year's Day, adding about 2.4-cents to a litre of gasoline sold in the province.

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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