Albertans who are experiencing financial hardship directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic can work with their utility company to defer electricity and natural gas bills until June 18, 2020 without any late fees or added interest payments.
In addition, no Albertan can be cut off from these services or see their services reduced during this period.
Visit alberta.ca/utility-payment-deferral for more information on how to arrange a deferral, eligibility, and repayment, and review frequently asked questions below.
Things to consider:
- Only use the deferral if you really need it
- Deferral is a temporary delay only; you will still have to pay your bills
- Contact your utility to make payment arrangements so you don't end up with an unusually large bill at the end of the deferral period
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a payment deferral?
When your payment is deferred, you do not have to pay within the usual agreed-upon payment period. Customers usually have 30 days from the end of the last billing period to pay their utility bills. This utility payment deferral lasts until June 18, 2020 to pay your electricity and natural gas bills received between March 18 and June 18, 2020.
Who qualifies for a utility payment deferral?
The program is open to all residential, farm and small business consumers, who use less than 250,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and less than 2,500 gigajoules of natural gas per year.
You are eligible for a deferral program if you cannot make your payments on time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, you:
- have been diagnosed with COVID-19
- have been directed by health authorities to self-isolate
- have lost your job or
- are taking care of a family member
If you are still able to pay your utility bills, please do so to avoid a large bill after the deferral period ends.
How do I arrange a utility payment deferral?
You will continue to receive a bill, and it is important to still review it. If you choose to defer your payments, please call your natural gas or electricity provider directly and give them your account information. If you are on automatic withdrawal (pre-authorized payment plan), you need to tell your provider to pause the withdrawals. You should discuss the payment deferral with your landlord if your utilities are included in your rent or paid to a sub-metering company.
If I defer my payments, what are my options once the temporary deferral period ends?
The utility payment deferral provides temporary financial relief. You will still receive a bill showing the new energy charges and any previous amount owing. You must pay this amount after the deferral period has ended. You can talk to your utility provider about a flexible payment arrangement to spread the balance owed over a longer time to make your bills more manageable.
For support in negotiating a repayment plan or in resolving any service or billing issue, contact our Mediation Officers.
Will my utilities get disconnected for non-payment?
Utility providers will not disconnect customers who are in arrears or were in arrears before the utility payment deferral was announced. Your electricity and natural gas services will not be cut off or limited from March 18 to June 18, 2020.
Will I have to pay late payment fees?
You will not have late payment fees for not paying your bills between March 18th and June 18th, 2020.
What telephone number do I call to arrange for a payment deferral?
Use your utility provider’s contact number as it appears on your utility bill. You can also check your utility provider’s website for their contact information.
COVID-19 information on utility provider websites
If you cannot find your utility provider on this list, please visit our Retailers & Distributors page.
ACE Alberta Co-operative Energy
Direct Energy Regulated Services
Get the latest information on COVID-19 at alberta.ca/covid-19-supports-for-albertans.aspx