Statistics Canada says a spike in the amount Albertans paid for electricity last month counteracted an overall decline in energy prices in July — and was one of the key reasons cited by the agency as the overall inflation rate ticked up.
The agency says energy prices were down 8.2 per cent in July on a year-over-year basis, compared with 14.6 per cent in June.
That was driven both by gasoline prices falling less dramatically from prices a year ago, along with electricity prices rising at a faster pace in July than they did in June.
Yet the price of electricity was up 11.7 per cent last month compared with 5.8 per cent in June, with the gain attributed to a 127.8 per cent increase in Alberta electricity prices.
Statistics Canada notes Alberta’s electricity costs are often volatile and were influenced by high summer demand.
July’s costs also rose compared with last year due to the province phasing out temporary measures that helped keep energy costs lower before the summer.
Eligible Albertans received a total of $500 in monthly rebates on their power bills from July 2022 to April 2023, with the federal agency noting prices fell 24.4 per cent month-over-month when the program was first introduced last summer.
The province’s electricity rate cap of 13.5 cents per kilowatt hour, applied for those on a Regulated Rate Option from January to March 2023, also kept prices lower in the earlier part of the year.