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ATCO Yellow Reverse on blue just Energy 01

March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. This popular adage refers to the weather, but this year energy prices also came roaring into March – and there might not be a gentler ‘lamb’ in sight. 

Let’s face it. February was a tough month for your utility bill. But why?

To start, it was the coldest February in decades. Temperatures dipped well below -20°C and tended to stay there. As a result, we used much more energy to keep our homes and businesses warm. Early estimates show that Albertans used around 23% more natural gas than they did the previous February.

At the same time, energy prices soared. After years of relative flat prices, both electricity and natural gas rates started moving: and they moved high and fast, hitting prices we haven’t seen for a long time. These spiking market rates, combined with significantly higher consumption, created an expensive combination for customers on variable rate plans.

March might bring some relief when it comes to the weather, but energy rates are expected to stay volatile. Some analysts predict we’re returning to the deep spikes and valleys that were the norm before 2016.

Electricity:

Since the end of 2015, electricity prices in Alberta have remained relatively stable below 3¢/kWh. In 2018, rates below 3¢/kWh were a thing of the past as prices started climbing, averaging around 5¢/kWh for the year. By February 2019, that rate had more than doubled to a monthly average of 10.93¢/kWh and is currently sitting at almost 12¢/kWh. That’s 4x higher than this time last year and almost 6x higher than 2017. 

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Natural Gas:

Natural gas prices dropped in 2015 and stayed low and stable for three years. In 2018, they plummeted to record lows, averaging just $1.42/GJ for the year. Like electricity, natural gas prices saw a quick and significant increase early in 2019. Barely three months into the new year, gas prices are already climbing to heights Alberta hasn’t seen since 2014.

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If you haven’t already spoken with a trusted energy advisor, now’s the time to reach out.
Energy providers like ATCOenergy offer free, no-obligation assessments and expert advice to
help you understand what’s happening in the market, and what it means for your bottom line.  

To speak with an energy advisor and schedule a free no-obligation assessment for your building, call ATCOenergy at 1-844-887-6937 or visit atcoenergy.com

All customers are free to purchase natural gas services from the default supply provider or from a retailer of their choice and to purchase electricity services from the regulated rate provider or from a retailer of their choice. The delivery of natural gas and electricity to you is not affected by your choice. If you change who you purchase natural gas services or electricity services from, you will continue receiving natural gas and electricity from the distribution company in your service area. For a current list of retailers, you may choose from, visit www.ucahelps.gov.ab.ca or call 310-4822 (toll-free in Alberta).