Alberta’s Electricity Prices Reach Surprising Low
Alberta’s residents enjoyed shockingly low electricity prices in 2017, the cheapest in at least 20 years. According to researchers, electricity prices have not been this low in Alberta since 1997.
While Alberta electricity consumers are benefitting with choices of low usage rates, this isn’t necessarily good news for electricity generation companies. Growth in demand for power from the grid slowed down while new generation facilities came online to help supply outweigh demand which was reflected in the market with decreased pricing. Prices did slightly climb through the last 6 months of 2017 and are likely to climb still higher throughout 2018.
Alberta’s Electricity Costs Compared
According some data put out by Hydro Quebec, the cost to power the average Alberta home is about $145 per month. Contrasted with the rest of Canada, Albertans are benefiting from the 2017 low market prices. Quebec residents averaged the lowest at $100 per month and Prince Edward Island averaged the highest at $230 per month.
Canadian residents, however, have some of the lowest electric bills anywhere in the world, and the average Canadian resident pays less for electricity than the average American household. In fact, according to 2017 data only India, China, South Africa, Brazil, and Czech Republic pay less for electricity than Canada.
Alberta Enacts Carbon Tax
As of January 1, 2017, Alberta enacted a carbon tax on consumable carbon based fuels based on a price $20 per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted, a number that will rise to $30 per tonne in January 1, 2018. While the carbon tax is not directly applied to consumers’ electricity bills, it will be factored into the wholesale cost for electricity since currently around 90% of electricity in Alberta is generated by burning coal and natural gas (both of which the carbon tax applies to).
The market conditions in 2017 has allowed Alberta’s electricity price to reach record lows and consumers on a Variable Rate have benefited from low relatively stable pricing. Unfortunately wholesale pricing forecasts are starting to trend upwards as demand starts to increase and the effects of coal phase out will begin to take place.
With upward pricing in mind, as we head into 2018, it would be good for Alberta consumers to consider putting themselves onto a Fixed Rate Plan to protect themselves from the upward trends and any volatility that may come with the changing marketplace. Remember with Park Power you are never locked in and can cancel or change rates for free at any time.