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Frequently asked questions about gas marketers

Business practices

How does a gas marketer operate?

All gas marketers doing business in BC must be qualified, approved and licensed by the British Columbia Utilities Commission and must adhere to the BCUC's Code of Conduct for Gas Marketers.  However, transportation service marketers do not need to be licensed.

BC Utilities Commission Website

How does a gas marketer make money on the commodity?

Gas marketers make money by selling gas under different terms and conditions related to pricing. They use a variety of buying strategies to source their gas at the most advantageous price. They then sell the gas to you using different pricing arrangements that allow them to earn a profit. For example, they might arrange for a supply of fixed-price gas. The gas marketers will then sell the fixed-price gas to customers at a premium over their initial cost of sourcing that gas.

Gas marketers may also be able to offer different commodity prices over different time periods that take into consideration the customer's unique gas consumption needs.
Will the gas marketer send me a separate bill?

Even if you sign a contract to purchase natural gas from a marketer, your billing will still be done by FortisBC. Your bill will now separately list FortisBC's delivery charges, the storage and transport charges and the gas marketer's commodity charge. The bill will also list the marketer's name, phone number and the commodity rate agreed to.

You will continue to make your payments to FortisBC and will still be able to take advantage of our various payment options including the Equal Payment Plan and the Pre-Authorized Payment Plan.​
What happens if a gas marketer fails to meet contractual obligations?

In order for a gas marketer to make a commitment to supply your natural gas, they will have made a commitment to FortisBC that they provide fuel to our pipeline network at an agreed upon schedule. A short-term failure to meet this supply commitment can lead to the BCUC to levy financial penalties against the gas marketer. Long-term failures, such as a gas marketer filing for bankruptcy, would lead FortisBC to request the BCUC to issue an order returning the customers to FortisBC as the supplier of last resort. In this circumstance, the customer may be required to compensate FortisBC for the cost of bringing them back into the system.

To date, there have been no gas marketer failures under the program.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In no circumstance will the failure of a gas marketer lead to an interruption of your gas supply​

FortisBC vs gas marketers

How does a gas marketer's typical offering differ from the standard FortisBC's arrangement?

Gas marketers offer FortisBC customers the opportunity to lock into a fixed commodity rate for a term ranging from one to five years.

FortisBC, on the other hand, is fully regulated by the BC Utilities Commission. Our commodity rates can change up to four times each year. We buy gas on behalf of our customers and pass the cost of the commodity on without mark up. That means you pay what we pay.​

Gas supply

How does a gas marketer supply natural gas to my business?

The gas marketer secures the natural gas from much the same supply sources FortisBC does then makes arrangements for FortisBC to supply the gas to your operation. Note there is no effective interruption to your service during this process.​

How do I know my gas supply is guaranteed?

There will be no interruption to your gas supply under this unbundling program. Gas marketers are legally obligated to meet the daily gas delivery requirements as set out by FortisBC. Should a marketer fail to meet its gas-delivery requirements, FortisBC will step in as the "supplier of last resort" and fulfill its obligation to ensure customers continue to receive an uninterrupted supply of gas. The gas marketer will then be liable for financial penalties payable to FortisBC for failure to deliver.​