Default Rate

On November 20, 2023, City Council passed a new gas utility bylaw (Bylaw 4798) to provide consumers with a single Market Reference Price based on wholesale market commodity prices (the weighted average cost of the natural gas purchased for that particular month of consumption) plus $0.07/GJ to recover transactional costs and a small rate of return. This new rate will take effect January 1, 2024.

Consumers may still enter Fixed or Variable natural gas contracts up until December 31, 2023, at which time all contracts will expire in favour of the new rate. You may choose to return to your contract that was in effect prior to January 1, 2024 by contacting by email by February 1, 2024 and will be subject to the terms of that contract for the duration of the initial contract.

On October 16, 2023, City Council voted to pass a new electricity bylaw (Bylaw 4796) to provide consumers with a single best of market interim electricity rate. This new rate automatically took effect on November 1, 2023.

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When your utilities are hooked up, all customers start on the default rate.

Natural gas customers have the option to enter into a contract. 

For natural gas, choose the default rate if you:

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  • don't want a contract
  • enjoy flexibility
  • are comfortable with a different rate each month
  • want assurance you are paying the current market price

Natural Gas

Rate changes monthly

Rate set at beginning of month

No contract


illustration of four calendars with text that says "rate changes quarterly"
illustration of graph with text that says "high and low rate caps"
illustration of an open lock with the text "no contract"

In most parts of Alberta the regulated rates are reviewed and approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) and can change from month to month. Generally, the balance between the energy supply and energy demand determines the market price.

Default rate
for Residential, Farm,
Small and Medium Commercial,
Unmetered Services and Rental
Lighting customers
Electricity (per kWh)Natural Gas (per GJ)
December 2023

($0.10031 + Recovery Rate $0.00844)

Past six months    
November 2023

($0.10031 + Recovery Rate $0.00869)

October 2023

($0.17293 + Recovery Rate $0.01637)

September 2023


($0.25068 + Recovery Rate $0.01215)

August 2023


($0.29673 + Recovery Rate $0.00833)

July 2023


($0.24924 + Recovery Rate $0.00891)

June 2023


($0.15761 + Recovery Rate $0.01111)

Going Green: The Going Green surcharge is $0.001 per kilowatt hour, and is calculated monthly to recover costs incurred to purchase renewable energy.


for Large Commercial, Industrial and Street Lighting customersElectricity (per kWh)
December 2023 $0.18310/kWh
Past six months  
November 2023 $0.17076/kWh 
October 2023 $0.17293/kWh
September 2023 $0.25068/kWh
August 2023 $0.29673/kWh
July 2023 $0.24924/kWh 
June 2023 $0.15761/kWh
The default electricity rate for Large Commercial, Industrial and Street Lighting customers is based on the monthly average Alberta Power Pool price as established and published by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) plus $0.02 per kilowatt hour.


Benefits of the default rate

  • The default rate always provides the current projected market price
  • You don't need to sign a contract or remember to renew
  • If the price drops, you share in the savings
  • For natural gas, during some months, the default rate may be lower than the fixed or variable rates

Potential risks

  • The default rate reflects the current market price, which fluctuates up and down making costs less predictable
  • For natural gas, during some months, the default rate may be higher than the fixed or variable rates


For electricity, the single best of market interim rate will be calculated based on a twelve‐month forecast of the wholesale electricity energy market. The set rate will remain in effect for three months with a recalculation occurring at the end of each quarter based on this rate setting methodology.

Two main objectives are achieved by setting rates in this manner:

  1. The rate is expected to beat the one-year contract rate of other large retailers because those retailers reference the same wholesale price, but layer on additional retailer fees and other charges; and,
  2. It allows for more stability (fewer price spikes) by forecasting for a twelve-month period (creating an averaging effect), while remaining aligned with market prices because it is adjusted every three months.

A Recovery Rate is currently added to the calculated electricity price as part of the recovery from the Government of Alberta temporary price protection. See below.

The default rate for natural gas is calculated based on the average of the monthly gas charges set by Alberta gas distribution (pipes) owners. The City of Medicine Hat calculates the Monthly Reference Price based on the average of the rates approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission.

*Temporary electricity price protectionicon of electricity plug and flame

As part of Alberta's Affordability Action Plan, the Government of Alberta provided price stability for regulated rate option (RRO) customers in January, February and March 2023 by enforcing a temporary price ceiling.

As of April 2023, the cost difference between the RRO electricity rate from January to March and the $0.13500/kWh cap will be added to the current RRO to recover costs over the 21 months until December 2024.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Regulated Rate Option (RRO) rate cap? 

The Government of Alberta is offered temporary relief to those who pay a regulated rate on their electricity bill. It was provided in the form of a price ceiling of 13.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in January, February, and March 2023. The rate cap was automatically applied to eligible consumers' electricity bills from January to March 2023. Any difference between the actual RRO rate and the 13.5 cent/kWh cap will be spread across future Regulated Rate Option rates until December 2024.

Do I have to repay the difference?

Yes. Starting April 1, 2023, any difference between the actual RRO rate and the 13.5 cent/kWh cap will be recovered through the addition of a Recovery Rate to the monthly RRO rates over a 21-month recovery period from April 1, 2023 to December 31, 2024.

Who qualified for the rate cap? 

Electricity consumers who were on the regulated rate option in January, February, and March 2023 and:

  • consumed less than 250,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year
  • whose site is connected to the system 
  • have consumed electricity within the past calendar year
Where can I find the Recovery Rate on my bill? 
If you are a RRO customer, the recovery rate is included in the price on your "Energy Charge." For details, refer to the price charts near above.
Who provided this rate cap? 
On December 15, 2022, the Government of Alberta passed the Regulated Rate Option Stability Act through Bill 2: Inflation Relief Statues Amendment Act. This regulation mandates that RRO providers in Alberta must implement the regulated rate cap program.

Where can I find more information on the rate cap? 

Find more information here: 


The Regulated Rate is only one of three choices you have for energy pricing in Medicine Hat.

View all options