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FortisBC cost of natural gas maintained and propane rates decreasing

March 20, 2018
Natural gas prices in British Columbia continue to remain low

​FortisBC has received approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) to keep the cost of gas steady for its natural gas customers. As of April 1, 2018, FortisBC customers will see no change to the cost of natural gas on their billing statement. Revelstoke customers receiving piped propane will see a decrease to the cost of propane. This is welcome news, as Revelstoke customers have not seen a decrease in the cost of propane rate since October 2015.

"While April is typically a time when many costs and rates in other sectors are increasing, the cost of natural gas is not,” said Diane Roy, vice-president, regulatory affairs at FortisBC. “Natural gas is an affordable and versatile option to heat your home and water when compared to other energy choices in B.C.”

Every three months, FortisBC reviews the cost of gas rates with the BCUC to make sure rates passed on to customers are fair and competitive. 

As of April 1, 2018:

Mainland, Van​couver Island and Whistler

  • There is no change to the current approved cost of gas rate of $1.549 per gigajoule (GJ).

Fort Nels​on

  • ​Customers in Fort Nelson will not see any changes to their cost of gas rates. The current rate is $1.571 per GJ.

Revelstoke 

  • Revelstoke residential customers will see a decrease to the cost of propane rate from $12.679 per GJ to $11.022 per GJ.  Based on an annual average consumption of 50 GJ, this works out to an overall decrease of approximately $83 for a full year or eight per cent.

For more information about rates and to learn about what components make up your bill, visit: fortisbc.com/rates​. ​


BACKGROUNDER

Historical data (Mainland, Vancouver Island, Whistler)

Cost of natural gas per gigajoule (GJ)*

*The cost of natural gas is one component of a FortisBC bill and is exclusive of the other charges that appear on the bill.

Items on a cus​tomer’s bill

Basic cha​rge

The basic charge is a flat daily fee that partially recovers the fixed costs of our system, whether or not you are using any natural gas, as long as you are connected to the system. The basic charge is reviewed by the BCUC annually.

Delivery cha​rge

The delivery charge is based on consumption and pays for the cost of safely and reliably delivering gas through our system to your home or business. This helps cover the costs of maintaining our natural gas distribution system, earn a return on the amounts invested in our business and fund improvements to meet customers' needs. Delivery charges are reviewed by the BCUC annually.

Storage a​nd transport

Storage and transport reflects the prices we pay to other companies to store and transport gas through their pipelines and infrastructure. We do not mark up these costs, and they are reviewed quarterly and set annually by the BCUC. 

Cost of​ gas

Every three months, FortisBC reviews natural gas and propane cost of gas rates with the BCUC to make sure rates passed on to customers cover the cost of purchasing the gas on their behalf. 

  • ​Factors affecting the market price of natural gas and propane in North America include weather, supply and demand and economic conditions. 
  • Propane prices are also influenced by global oil markets.
  • FortisBC does not mark up the cost of gas. Customers pay what we pay.

Natural gas prices in British Columbia continue to remain near their lowest levels for over a decade. 

  • ​Natural gas is traded in the North American marketplace as a commodity like oil, gold or lumber. Our commodity rates are reviewed every three months by the BCUC to ensure the rates we are charging appropriately cover the cost of natural gas we purchase on behalf of our customers. 
  • Rates are reviewed each quarter based on a forecast of what our costs to purchase gas will be over the following 12 months, based on forward prices forecasted by the market.

Other charges and taxes

Other charges and taxes include the B.C. carbon tax, Clean Energy Levy, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and, in some municipalities, the municipal operating fee. These charges are set by various levels of government and collected by FortisBC on their behalf. FortisBC does not gain revenue from these charges. 

On April 1, the B.C. carbon tax​ will be increasing for most natural gas customers. The rate will be going from $1.4898 per GJ to $1.7381 per GJ. There will be additional increases in 2019, 2020 and 2021 as well.  In addition, the carbon tax for propane will increase to $2.1063 per GJ. Note that carbon tax does not apply to the portions of customer’s natural gas chosen from FortisBC’s Renewable Natural Gas program.

​​

MEDIA CO​NTACT:

Diana Sorace
Corporate Communications Advisor 
FortisBC Energy Inc.
diana.sorace@fortisbc.com
24-hour media line: 1-855-322-6397
​FortisBC Energy Inc. is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, propane and thermal energy solutions. FortisBC Energy Inc. employs more than 1,800 British Columbians and serves approximately 1,008,400 customers in 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC Energy Inc. owns and operates approximately 49,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Energy Inc. is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. For further information visit www.fortisinc.com.