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Home » Residential Energy Rates in Alberta: What to do? MARCH 2021 Edition

Residential Energy Rates in Alberta: What to do? MARCH 2021 Edition

By Cameron Mitchell

Solution 105 Consulting Ltd.


As the days start to get longer, memories of our chilly February start to fade. The cold temperatures helped push February electricity rates to the highest they have been since July 2007. February settled above 15 cents per kWh for the month. March and April forward rates suggest those months’ will be coming in at around 6.5 cents per kWh and 8.0 cents per kWh respectively. The remaining calendar 2021 is expected to come in around the 6.5 cents per kWh range. As forward rates are looking high, we would recommend locking in a fixed electricity rate for your homes.

Floating natural gas rates have softened since February and are expected to come in around $2.70/GJ for March and $2.60/GJ for April.


  • Gas Only: get onto Direct Energy REGULATED Services. DERS. This is the default, no retailer rate.
    • Electricity Only:
      • Here are the best fixed rate options:
        • Encor by EPCOR has a 6.29 cents/kWh option. Rates stable for up to 5 years. $7.00/month admin. Free termination.
        • EasyMax by Enmax has a 6.29 cents/kWh option. Rates stable for just 1 year. $7.10/month admin. Free termination.
        • ATCOenergy has recently moved their rates up and now have a 6.79 cents/kWh option. Rates stable for up to 3 years. $6.99/month admin.   Free termination.
      • Best floating rate option:
        • Best option is ENRG Power, as their floating rate is spot plus 0.22 cents/kWh. Monthly admin fee of $5.90/month.


I’m on the ATCO “Three for All” offer. This expired offer has me paying 3 cents per kWh for electricity and $3/GJ for gas from January 2019 until December 2021. Since I use about 9,000 kWh/yr, the 3.3 cent per kWh savings compared to other fixed rate offers, should lead to a savings of about $297 per year. On the gas side, I use about 100 GJ per year, and the fixed rate of $3/GJ is likely about $1.00/GJ more than I might have to pay if I stuck with DERS… but that only leads to an extra cost of $100 per year. So it would appear the Three for All offer would save me about $200 per year, and lock in my rates. If something way better were to come along, I could still terminate by paying $50.


For gas, we are not seeing any super exciting residential fixed rate offers. Most offers are higher than $3.40/GJ. Short term pricing is now around $2.70/GJ, and longer term pricing is still below $3.00/GJ into 2024. So for gas, we recommend going with Direct Energy REGULATED Services (DERS)… remember “Regulated Service”. If you aren’t with these guys now, you will automatically go there if you terminate your current gas contract. Make sure there are no termination fees! There may also be a small enrollment fee to get on with DERS.

For March, the DERS rate is $4.102 /GJ. This figure includes about $0.85/GJ to account for under collections from last month. Looking at the longer view, we still recommend DERS. Index offers from most retailers add around $0.30/GJ or more for fees to the floating rate. As DERS fees are closer to $0.07/GJ, we recommend residents stay on the default gas rate – even though the March rate is a bit higher than normal due to the under collection from last month.


As noted previously, I am on a fixed rate product. I am a bit risk averse, and don’t really want big swings on my bills if I can avoid it. Since the forward market is suggesting rates that are a bit higher than the current retail offers available, we would recommend moving to a fixed rate offer if you are not already there.

Forward pricing currently suggests index residential rates will come in around 6.5 cents per kWh and 8.0 cents per kWh in March and April respectively. February 2021 averaged over 15 cents/kWh. At this point, 2021 forward market rates suggest the remainder of the year could average around 6.5 cents per kWh.

If I were to pick an electricity only option today, the 6.29 cents per kWh five year term with Encor by EPCOR is the one I’d go with.

Just to help put things into perspective, all that we are talking about here is the commodity rates and costs, not the delivery and other regulated charges. An average house might use around 9,000 kWh and 100 GJ over a year.


And for those of you who are not residential users, and maybe a bit bigger, give us a call. We are seeing even better pricing for commercial users so get in touch and we can help.