May 26th, 2024

Higher carbon costs, rebates for city, residents

By Medicine Hat News on April 3, 2024.

The increase in carbon tax on April 1 will have an effect on City of Medicine Hat utility bills, though the rebate, which is paid in quarterly instalments, has also increased.--NEWS FILE PHOTO


The increase in the federal carbon levy will add about 75 cents per gigajoule of natural gas used after April 1.

The scheduled increase moves the price on a tonne of carbon emissions produced from $65 to $80.

For natural gas, that translates to a new rate of $4 per gigajoule, up from $3.25 previously, and also affects gasoline, which adds 3.3 cents per litre to a total of 17.6 cents.

In February, the Government of Canada announced it would also increase the “Canada Carbon Rebate,” which amounts to $1,800 per year in Alberta for a family of four. The figure in 2023 was 1,544 in the province that has not had an equivalent provincial consumer carbon price since 2019.

Alberta has reached an equivalency arrangement with Ottawa on large emitters, including electrical generation stations, which fall under the provincial TIER levy.

That rate does not flow directly onto bills but is recovered from utility providers.

In Saskatchewan, which does not have either, SaskPower estimated that the 2024 price increase would add 0.5 per cent to home electricity bills.

City of Medicine Hat financial statements report that the cost of carbon compliance at the electric generation business totalled $8.5 million in 2023, though the overall cost to the city was reduced as carbon credits earned by composting activity at the landfill were transferred.

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