Many Albertans Not Eligible for Utility Rebates

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"Electricity" by Ella Patenall is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
"Electricity" by Ella Patenall is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Number of condo owners frustrated by exclusion for Alberta electricity rebate.

COF continues to advocate on behalf of the thousands of Alberta Condo Owners who are finding themselves holding an empty bag of promises as they look for their share of the Utility rebates promised by former Associate Minister Nally’s Natural Gas and Electricity department in April. 

As soon as the program was announced, with the passing of Bill 18 Utility, the Commodity Rebate Act, we know there was a potential problem. 

COF reached out to Service Alberta for clarification on the program. Service Alberta referred us to Associate Minsters Nally’s department for further comment. The department of Natural Gas and Electricity told us that they were still developing the regulations which would be passed later this summer.

As suspected, the program was detailed in June and was not kind to all Condo Owners fairly or equitably.

As we found out once the program was released, many Alberta condos that have one electric meter for the complex, larger users and those buildings that were sub-metered would be ineligible.

As the legislation is currently designed, many condo owners would not benefit from the rebate on both electricity and Natural Gas strictly because their utility bills are paid by their Condo Corporations, despite paying for their utilities as part of their monthly Condo contributions/fees.

COF, at that time, wrote a letter to former Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity, Dale Nally, containing a detailed list of concerns and possible solution to this shortfall in a letter dated July 11th, 2022, and have did not get a response for two months,  READ Response Letter

The solution we suggested was to have all Condo Corporations apply for the rebate by registering with the utility consumer advocate. Once this was done the utility companies servicing a registered Condominium would have their rebate applied based on registration and the number of occupied units in the complex.

Rachel Notley's team reached out to us and told us that we had their support.

Not hearing from Associate Minister Nally’s department in response to our letter, Rachel Notley reached out to us to invite us to a press conference in Calgary that she was holding to support the needed changes to this program. We participated in a press conference in Calgary  that was widely broad cast on CBC and Global News. We also received interview requests locally from Global Lethbridge. Stories were run in most major newspapers in the province including the Lethbridge Herald, Medicine Hat News and Red Deer Advocate. 

To View Rachel Notley's Press conference click on the image.
Click Here for Video: Number of condo owners frustrated by exclusion from Alberta electricity rebate -Global News

What else can you do!

We will be phoning the Utility Consumer Advocate and trying to file a complaint. We encourage you to phone the Utility Consumer Advocate and lodge a complaint.

The Advocate can be reached at 310-4822 (In Alberta). They are not likely to be able to do anything, but if there enough volume of concerned people phoning they might pass this information on to the minister.

Write to your Mayor or Council and ask them for a letter of support for the Condo Owners in your Community and let us know you’ve received one. We’ll be glad to add it to our files.

Phone or email Premier Danielle Smith, Minister of Affordability and Utilities Matt Jones, Minister of Energy, Pete Guthrie  or your MLA, let them know you feel this program is unfair to thousands of Condo Owners, Click here for listing. MLA LISTINGS

Finally, there is an election coming in 2023. Remember this issue at election time and vote your conscience at the total failing of the government’s handling of this program.

Condo owners deserve to be treated equally regardless of what type or how old of a building they choose to live in, and to be treated the same as owners of single-family dwellings. COF asks Matt Jones, Minister of Affordability and Utilities, to include the thousands of ‘hardworking Albertans’ in this rebate program that are currently ineligible because of the way the regulations have been framed.

Please spread the word!

Related Articles

Condominium Rebates and the Election Conundrum

On March 23rd COF Board Members Terry Gibson and Phil Rosenzweig were invited to he Alberta Legislature to be there when the petition that was launched on February 3rd 2023 was tabled in the House. During that session, which turned out to be the last session of the 30th Legislature, NDP MLA for Edmonton-Riverview Lori Sigurdson was able to ask Affordability and Utilities Minister Matt Jones several questions regarding the affordability program which we see as still inherently unfair to many Owners and Tenants in Multi Family buildings.

Please spread the word!
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