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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0-9 #
Baseload volumes
The minimum amount of natural gas delivered or required over a given period of time at a steady rate.
Bcf (billion cubic feet)
Gas measurement approximately equal to one trillion (1,000,000,000,000) Btu. See also Mcf.
Bill inserts
The information and/or pamphlets inserted in a customer's monthly bill from FortisBC.
British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC)
A provincially appointed body that regulates the potential earnings, business operations and practices of several B.C. utilities. The Commission is also responsible for licensing natural gas marketers.
British thermal unit (Btu)
The heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water at maximum density through one degree Fahrenheit.
Bundled service
Gas commodity purchase service and all associated transportation, balancing, storage and distribution services packaged together for customers.
The point at which natural gas is used as a fuel.
Cathodic protection
The method of preventing corrosion in metal structures that involves using electric voltage to slow or prevent corrosion. It is used along natural gas pipelines as well as in certain bridges or other large metal structures that need to resist corrosion over an extended period of time.
City gate
The delivery point or the point of intersection between a gas transmission pipeline and a local distribution system.
The sequential production of electricity and useful thermal energy from the same energy source. Natural gas is a favoured fuel for combined-cycle co-generation units, in which waste heat is converted to electricity.
Commercial market
The portion of the natural gas market consisting of business, industry and institutions.
A physical product sold for a specific price.  The commodity of natural gas refers to the actual gas. Oil and lumber are other examples of commodities.
Commodity charge
A charge per unit of gas delivered to the buyer
Compressor station
A facility that moves gas through transmission lines or into storage by creating pressure differentials. Most stations use some of the gas moving through the line as fuel for the compressors. It generally does not include booster lines or pumping stations within local distribution systems.
Contract year
A period of 12 consecutive months commencing at the beginning of the first day of November and ending on October 31 of the next year.
Cost of service
The total costs incurred by the gas utility, which must be recovered in its rates.
Cubic foot (natural gas)
A unit of volume equal to one cubic foot at a pressure base of 14.73 pounds standard per square inch absolute and a temperature base of 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Degree day
Measure of the coldness of the weather based on the extent to which the daily average temperature is below 18 degrees Celsius.
The volume that a particular well, storage field, pipeline or distribution system can supply during a 24-hour period.
Delivery or receipt point
Designates the point where natural gas is transferred from one party to another. The city gate is the delivery point for a pipeline or transportation company because this is where the gas is transferred to the Local Distribution Company.
Demand charge
The firm portion of a rate for natural gas service that is set by contract or tariff and will be paid even if no service is taken by the customer; a reservation fee.
Demand-side management (DSM)

Utility programs designed to influence the customer's energy consumption. Such programs include reducing gas consumption through efficiency and conservation, load shaping programs to reduce peak load and/or increase off-peak load, and programs to encourage fuel substitution.

Downstream pipeline
A pipeline closer to the market as opposed to an upstream pipeline, which is closer to the production area.
Environmental impact
Any alteration to the environment caused by man and affected human, animal, fish and/or plant life.  
Firm service
The highest quality sales or transmission service offered to customers under a filed rate schedule that anticipates no planned interruption. Firm service is usually associated with distribution companies that serve residential customers and other "high priority end-users," but it can also apply to upstream pipelines and other customers.
Fixed-price contracts
Contractual requirement for the purchase of a minimum quantity of gas whether or not delivery is accepted by the purchaser.
The volume of gas burned in flares on the base site or at gas processing plants.
Fossil fuel
Any naturally occurring organic fuel, such as petroleum, coal and natural gas.
Gas marketers
Independent suppliers who supply customers with the raw commodity of natural gas. Gas marketers compete with each other and FortisBC to try and offer the best supply options for your gas commodity. For the Natural Gas Commodity Unbundling program, gas marketers are required to obtain a license from the British Columbia Utilities Commission.
Gathering system
Pipelines and other equipment installed to collect, process and deliver natural gas from the field, where it is produced, to the trunk or main transmissions lines of pipeline systems.
Gigajoule (GJ)
A gigajoule (GJ) is a metric measurement of energy used for establishing rates, sales and billing. One gigajoule is equal to one billion joules (J) or 948,213 British thermal units (Btu).
Horizontal drilling
In addition to the vertical shaft in an oil or gas well, special equipment allows producers to extend horizontal shafts into areas that could not otherwise be reached. This technique is especially useful in off-shore drilling, where one platform may service many horizontal shafts, thus increasing efficiency.
Organic chemical compounds of hydrogen and carbon atoms that form the basis of all petroleum products, natural gas and coals. Hydrocarbons may be liquid, gaseous or solid.
Independent power producer
Private firms producing electricity, as opposed to utility companies.
Integrated resource planning
A planning process, used by regulated energy utilities, that equally evaluates changes in energy supply and demand options against economic, social and environmental criteria. The outcome of the process is an integrated resource plan, usually covering 15-20 years.
Interruptible service
Interruptible service contracts allow a distribution utility to temporarily suspend delivery of gas to a customer in order to meet the demands of customers who purchased firm service. Interruptible service is less expensive than firm service and is used by customers who can either accommodate interruption or switch to alternative fuels temporarily.
An active participant in a hearing, typically representing a group of customers.
Joule (J)
A metric measure of heat energy. See also Gigajoule.
Large commercial customer
Rate 3 customers on the FortisBC system (except those in Squamish, the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island and Fort Nelson who operate under different regulatory agreements) with a normalized annual consumption at one premise of typically 3,600 to 4,200 gigajoules per year, for use in approved appliances in commercial, institutional or small industrial operations.
Local Distribution Company, supplying gas to residential and commercial markets.
Liquefied Natural Gas.
Load factor
The ratio of the average load over a designated period of time to the peak load occurring in that time period.
One million cubic feet.
Sulphur compounds resembling alcohols, but with the oxygen of the hydroxyl group replaced by sulphur. Often found in petroleum products, mercaptans have a particularly strong and disagreeable odour.
Methane, commonly known as natural gas (or CH4 to a scientist), is the most common hydrocarbon gas. It is colorless and naturally odorless, and burns efficiently without many by-products. Natural gas only has an odor when it enters your home because the local distributor who sells it to you adds an odorant as a safety measure.
Midstream charges

Midstream charges have been renamed to Storage and transport.

Storage and transport charges appear under the commodity charges, and include costs paid by FortisBC to other companies who store, transport and help manage the gas we deliver to our customers. In regions where Customer Choice is available, storage and transport charges are broken out, making it easier to compare the commodity charge per gigajoule with rates offered by natural gas marketers

National energy board
A federal regulatory body that oversees interprovincial and international oil and gas pipelines, as well as the export and import of electricity, oil and gas.
Natural gas
Naturally occurring mixture of hydrocarbon gases and vapors, mostly methane (CH4).
Natural gas co-firing
Co-firing refers to the injection of natural gas with pulverized coal or oil into the primary combustion zone of a boiler. Co-firing is not new technology, but efforts to determine optimal natural gas injection levels for both environmental and operational benefits are relatively recent. Co-firing only produces a mild increase in production costs, but benefits plants by offering cleaner overall operation. Slag that builds up inside boilers is reduced, and precipitators, which capture soot and ash from coal or oil firing, foul up less frequently.
Natural gas vehicle (NGV)
A natural gas vehicle is a new breed of car, bus or truck that is powered by a natural gas, either in compressed or liquefied form, rather than the traditional gasoline or diesel fuel. These vehicles offer an extremely clean, safe and efficient alternative to traditional transportation.
Off-peak period
The period of time during a day, week, month or year when gas use on a particular system is not at its maximum.
Smart PIGs are robotic agents that roam the pipeline collecting data. They are used to inspect pipeline interior walls for corrosion and defects, measure pipeline interior diameters, remove accumulated debris and for other specialty tasks. As the PIG travels through the pipeline, it takes thousands of sensor measurements for later computer analysis and comparison with other historical data. Advances in these technologies are improving pipeline reliability and reducing the need for excavating long sections of pipe for inspection.
Peak shaving
Using sources of energy, such as natural gas from storage, to supplement the normal amounts delivered to customers during peak-use periods. Using these supplemental sources prevents pipelines from having to expand their delivery facilities just to accommodate short periods of extremely high demand (see Peak Use Periods).
Peaking service
A service that entitles a buyer to a certain quantity of natural gas delivered at the buyer's request during peak-demand periods.
Peak-use period
The period of time when gas use on a particular system is at its maximum. This is the period when gas supply is most likely to be suspended for interruptible service customers. Distributors also employ techniques such as peak shaving to soften the impacts of high demand on the pipelines.
Petajoule (PJ)
A million gigajoules.
Pounds per square inch gauge (psig)
Pressure measured with respect to that of the atmosphere. This is a pressure gauge reading in which the gauge is adjusted to read zero at the surrounding atmospheric pressure. It is commonly called gauge pressure.
A natural gas producer is generally involved in exploration, drilling and refinement of natural gas. There are independent producers, as well as integrated producers, which are generally larger companies that produce, transport and distribute natural gas.
Rate base
The investment in gas plant in service and working capital on which utilities earn a rate of return to compensate shareholders and holders of the utility debt.
Rate schedules
Rate classifications determined by annual gas consumption by a premise. The average amount of natural gas consumed in a year will determine which rate your business falls under. For example, Rate 2 customers consume less than 2,000 gigajoules per year.
Raw natural gas
The mixture of lighter hydrocarbons and associated non-hydrocarbon substances occurring naturally in an underground reservoir, which under atmospheric conditions, is essentially a gas, but may contain liquids.
Natural gas reburning is an effective and economic means of reducing NOx emissions from all types of industrial and electric utility boilers. Gas reburn may be used in coal or oil boilers, and it is even effective in cyclone and wet-bottom boilers, for which other forms of NOx control are either not available or very expensive. A reburn application, which entails the injection of natural gas into a coal-fired boiler above the primary combustion zone (representing 15 to 20 per cent of the total fuel mix), can produce NOx reductions in the 50 to 70 per cent range and SO2 reductions in the 20 to 25 per cent range.
The governing set of guidelines and practices, established by the British Columbia Utilities Commission, to which FortisBC must adhere. It is a method of ensuring fair and reliable pricing and service for the customers of FortisBC.
Residential customers
The portion of the natural gas market consisting of private dwellings and larger residential units with individually-metered apartments.
Revenue requirement
The total revenues to be generated by rates in order to recover the total costs of providing service.
SCADA — supervisory control and data acquisition
Remote controlled equipment used by pipelines and LDCs to operate their gas systems. These computerized networks can acquire immediate data concerning flow, pressure or volumes of gas, as well as control different aspects of gas transmission throughout a pipeline system.
Entities holding transportation contracts on pipelines, which require payment of tolls.
Small commercial customer
Rate 2 customers on the FortisBC system with an annual consumption at one premise of less than 2,000 gigajoules of gas for use in approved appliances in commercial, institutional or small industrial operations.
Sour gas
Raw gas that contains hydrogen sulfide. Sour gas must be purified before being injected into the pipeline system.
Spot market
A product of deregulation, the spot market is a method of contract purchasing whereby commitments by the buyer and seller are of a short duration at a single volume price. The duration of these contracts is typically less than a month, and the complexity of the contracts is significantly less than their traditional market counterparts.
Spot purchase
Natural gas purchased on the spot market, which involves short-term contracts for specified amounts of gas, at a one-time purchase price.
Storage and transport charges
Storage and transport charges appear under the commodity charges, and include costs paid by FortisBC to other companies who store, transport and help manage the gas we deliver to our customers. In regions where Customer Choice is available, storage and transport charges are broken out, making it easier to compare the commodity charge per gigajoule with rates offered by natural gas marketers.
Sweet gas
Gas found in its natural state that does not need to be purified to remove sulphur-bearing compounds.
The prices, fees and charges, as amended from time to time by FortisBC with the consent of by the British Columbia Utilities Commission, appended to Rate Schedules.
Thermal generation
Energy conversion in which fuel is consumed to generate heat, which is then converted to electrical energy. The fuel may be coal, oil, natural gas or uranium.
The volume of gas flowing through a pipeline.
The rates charged by pipeline companies under tariffs approved by regulatory bodies for such services as raw gas transmission, processing and transportation.
The movement or transfer of electricity from one point to another in a power system. Also used to refer to the movement of natural gas through a trunk pipeline system.
A gas delivery service provided by a pipeline or local gas utility company to customers who purchase natural gas directly from producers or brokerage companies.
Unbundled services
Unbundling, or separating, the commodity cost of natural gas from any other cost that is involved in providing a supply of gas to a customer, including pipeline transmission and storage services. Unbundled service guarantees 'open access' to space on the pipelines for all gas shippers.
Underground gas storage
The use of sub-surface facilities for storing gas that has been transferred from its original location for the primary purpose of load balancing. The facilities are usually natural geological reservoirs, such as depleted oil or gas fields or water-bearing sands on the top by and impermeable cap rock. There are currently more than 400 underground storage facilities spread across 27 states and Canada, which together can hold more than three quads of gas.
Upstream pipeline
A pipeline closer to the productions area, as opposed to a downstream pipeline, which is closer to the market.