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Frequently asked questions

​Please select your question below:
 

 General

 
Why is FortisBC offering natural gas vehicle incentives?

Emissions from the transportation sector are the largest single contributor of GHG emissions in British Columbia. Natural gas vehicles offer a proven option to reduce such emissions by 20 to 30% while also reducing operating costs for fleet owners. The Provincial government, through a “prescribed undertaking” under Section 18 of the Clean Energy Act, has enacted the Greenhouse Reduction Regulation which authorizes FortisBC to provide this program to fleet owners. FortisBC is interested in supporting growth in NGT markets and helping customers achieve these benefits. Load growth through NGT also helps offset declines in natural gas use in other markets that helps FortisBC keep natural gas delivery rates low for all customers.​

How is this program funded?

FortisBC plans to amortize incentives provided under this program over a 10 year period. The amortization expense in each year will be treated as part of FortisBC’s overall cost of providing natural gas distribution services. These costs are recovered from all customers through FortisBC’s natural gas delivery rates. As the transportation market develops, additional load allows FortisBC to spread overall operating costs over a larger amount of delivered gas. This results in lower delivery rates for all customers. The program is designed to provide net delivery rate reductions to FortisBC customers after recovery of the costs associated with the incentives. ​

Does this program include incentives for fuelling and how do I apply for fuelling station incentives?

This program does not include incentives toward the cost of a fuelling station; however, an additional 20 per cent incentive on the incremental capital cost of natural gas vehicles is available for eligible applicants who provide a fuelling station available for third-party use. The government regulation also permits us to invest up to $42 million (over five years) in capital for CNG and LNG fuelling stations. We offer CNG and LNG fuelling station service to fleets whereby we charge the customer a regulated rate for providing fuelling infrastructure at their site. Interested customers can contact us by sending us an email at ngt@fortisbc.com to request a proposal for our fuelling station services.

Will FortisBC programs preclude others from developing the BC market for CNG/LNG fuelling services?

This program is designed to provide fair access to all competitors. Participants in this incentive program are not required to contract FortisBC for fuelling station services or LNG trucking services. As a regulated entity, FortisBC can only charge customers for rates which are approved by the BC Utilities Commission and at our regulated rate of return. ​

 

 Fuelling stations

 
How do I arrange access to a natural gas fuelling station?

FortisBC and other service providers offer fuelling station service solutions. It is the applicant’s responsibility to identify their natural gas fuelling plan and choose their own provider.​

Do I have to purchase fuelling station services from FortisBC?

No; you are free to choose your own provider of fuelling service. FortisBC offers such services; however, you can purchase these services from others. FortisBC has compiled a list of natural gas fueling station service providers. All applicants who are looking for a fueling station service provider have the option to contact any of the fueling station service providers.  The use of other parties to provide a fuelling service will not impair your application for funding under this program. Alternatively, you may be able to refuel at an existing fuelling station, as an approved third party.

What is an “approved third party”?

In the context of this program, an approved third party is a fleet operator seeking fuelling service at an existing or planned fuelling station location owned by another company. The third party must gain consent to refuel its vehicles from both FortisBC (subject to BC Utilities Commission approval) and the host fleet operator (property owner) where the fuelling station is located.​

What does FortisBC consider a “suitable site for refuelling”?

Fuelling stations will vary in their size and complexity, however an ideal site is a close proximity to utility connections (electricity, natural gas), close proximity to a major highway or road, and has enough space to accommodate fuelling infrastructure additions (e.g. CNG compressor enclosure, LNG storage, fill posts and dispensers, etc.). Please enquire for more details as necessary.​

Is there an incentive for fueling stations?

 There is currently no incentive toward the cost of a fuelling station. An additional 20 per cent incentive on the incremental capital cost of natural gas vehicles is available for eligible applicants who provide a fuelling station that is available for third-party use. Through the BC government regulation, we’re authorized to invest up to $42 million in CNG/LNG fuelling stations over five years. Applicants can choose any service provider for their CNG/LNG fuelling station services including FortisBC. Interested customers can contact us by sending us an email at ngt@fortisbc.com to request a proposal for our fuelling station services.

I’m a natural gas fueling station service provider, how do I get in touch with applicants wanting fuel services?

FortisBC has compiled a list of natural gas fueling station service providers which is posted on the FortisBC natural gas for transportation website. All applicants who are looking for a fueling station service provider have the option to contact any of the fueling station service providers on the list.

If you would like to have your company information added to the fueling station service provider list on the FortisBC NGT website, please send an email with your company name, contact person and email address to: ngt@fortisbc.com. The list will be updated periodically.
 

 Natural gas supply

 
Do I have to buy natural gas for my CNG vehicles from FortisBC?

No you can purchase natural gas for your CNG vehicles from FortisBC or you can arrange to purchase from a natural gas marketer. In either case, FortisBC’s distribution network can be used to deliver the natural gas to the fuelling site. ​

Do I have to buy LNG for my LNG fuelled vehicle from FortisBC?

At present FortisBC is the only available source for LNG for the BC market, other than imports into the province. Rates for LNG are published and regulated by the BC Utilities Commission and supply is provided from FortisBC’s Tilbury LNG facility. Revenue generated from LNG sales is used in part to repay the cost of the incentives provided for vehicles under this program. To ensure that FortisBC customers are repaid for the cost of providing the incentives, there needs to be a linkage back to LNG supply from FortisBC’s LNG facility.​

 

 Vehicle eligibility

 
I operate one diesel truck which I would like to replace with a new natural gas truck. Can I apply to this program?

Yes you can apply, but you must demonstrate in a plan how that vehicle can be fuelled in an economical manner through an existing natural gas fuelling station or a planned natural gas fuelling station. Program participants are encouraged to collaborate to develop sufficient load to justify investment in fuelling facilities. This program is primarily targeted at the development of larger fleets that can fuel at central locations.​

I operate a fleet of pickup trucks. Am I eligible for this program?

No. This program is only open to heavy duty fleet owners. FortisBC does offer incentives for light duty vehicles through a separate program.​

Can I apply for engine conversions?

We have a pilot program for heavy duty trucks to convert engines to use LNG fuel. For more information, email us at ngt@fortisbc.com.

Can I apply for an off-road application?

Yes.​

I intend to lease my vehicles through a leasing agent. Am I eligible for this program?

Yes. Any incentives under this program will be paid to the title holder of the vehicle. Thus, in some cases the leasing agent will receive funding directly from FortisBC. FortisBC will require evidence that this payment, or cost savings, is transferred to the end user in the customer’s leasing arrangement.​

Part of my fleet is based in another province or state. Are these vehicles eligible for funding?

FortisBC will consider applications for vehicles registered outside of BC provided that more than 75% of the kilometres traveled are in BC. Please indicate on your application what percentage of your fleet operates outside of BC and FortisBC may weigh the incentive award accordingly.​

Is a natural gas powered tug qualified for your incentive program, how does it work?

Yes. A natural gas powered tug boat is qualified for the incentive program. FortisBC will only award part of the incremental capital cost between a natural gas tug and its diesel equivalent.

What kinds of vehicles are eligible for the medium and heavy-duty vehicle incentive?

​This program is open to the following types of vehicles that are owned or leased within the FortisBC service area:

  • heavy-duty vehicle – a truck or tractor-trailer with a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating of 11,793 kg or more
  • medium-duty vehicle – a vehicle with a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating of more than 5,360 kg but less than 11,793 kg

Market applications of eligible vehicles include:

  • wholesale distribution of food or beverages by truck
  • short-haul trucking between a port and a railway, warehouse or trucking depot
  • medium and heavy-duty vehicle leasing
  • passenger transportation by charter bus, other than a transit bus or school bus
  • package courier service by truck
  • off-highway mine hauling by truck
  • transportation of goods or passengers by rail
  • shipping, passenger transportation or commercial services by marine vessels fuelled in BC
  • dump truck services
  • transportation of cement in cement-mixing trucks
  • bucket and digger trucking services
  • pipe cleaning or hydro-vacuum excavation trucking services
  • on-highway hauling in trucks with a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating of more than 36,000 kg
  • off-highway earth excavation, grading and moving for construction or mining
  • engine conversion vehicles

Fleets must operate at least 75 per cent within British Columbia, and incentive awards will be prorated based on the percentage of kilometres run within the province.

 

 Application process

 
What documentation do I need to submit an application form?

To submit a form you will need operating information regarding your existing diesel fleet such as total volume of diesel consumed (in litres) and total number of kilometres travelled per year. In addition, you will need a quotation from your trucking/transport dealer which shows the price of a new natural gas vehicle and the price of a new diesel equivalent vehicle. FortisBC also requires applicants provide their National Safety Code (NSC) Carrier Profile (or an equivalent safety measure) score for the past three years. ​

Is my fleet information held confidential?

As a regulated public utility, FortisBC is obligated to openly disclose its expenditures. Any other financial information collected during the application process will not be disclosed and will be held confidentially by FortisBC.

Reporting requirements for this program entail that FortisBC must submit an annual report to the Ministry of Energy.  In addition, all incentive awards will be publicly disclosed on FortisBC’s website.​

Can I receive funding more than once?

There is no specific limit under the current program design. However, one of the guiding principles of the program is to stimulate the adoption of NGT across a diverse number of transportation applications. In each round of funding, FortisBC may, at its discretion, award funding to a wide range of carriers to achieve diversity amongst vehicle segments and geographies.​

The NGT Incentive Program looks well suited for large fleets owned by one company. However, some fleets in the province, while quite large, are owned by a diverse ownership group. How could a consortium of truck owners apply effectively as a group?

A consortium of truck owners could apply for the incentive program. However as a consortium you would have to be eligible to qualify for the incentives as laid out in the instructions to applicants in the website.

You must demonstrate in a plan how that vehicle can be fuelled in an economical manner through an existing natural gas fuelling station or a planned natural gas fuelling station.

Program participants are encouraged to collaborate to develop sufficient load to justify investment in fuelling facilities.​

Will fleets get preferential treatment if they apply as a consortium?

One of the criteria for evaluation is litres displaced per $ incentive and a consortium would score well on this to the extent that the consortium was able to bring increased fuel displacement versus an individual fleet.

On the other hand a consortium versus a single fleet that both displaced the same amount would have no significant advantage.​

If a fleet has a specific reason like a mandatory RFP process for procurement that will not meet the timelines of the NGT Incentive Program, will a binding LOI accrue the incentive while they work through their process?

Yes. A binding LOI would work under certain circumstances. FortisBC would look at the timelines for the in-service date in the application and make a decision in light of other applications and the funding amounts available for the first round.​

What should I do if I need more room in the application?

The application form is expandable and should have enough room to complete your responses. Use the application form to provide a summary of your response and feel free to attach a separate file with as many supporting documents as you need to support your application. This is a competitive process and you must demonstrate, through the application, your ability to meet our objectives and differentiate your proposal from others. Please do not scan the application as we will not be able to see your complete response if it’s scanned. ​

Do I need to attach the Equifax report as part of the application?

No. FortisBC will be conducting the Equifax credit report search after receiving the application. However, please make sure you have the correct company name, address(es) and phone number(s), as we will need this information for the credit report search.​

Do we need to submit multiple applications if we are applying for more than one vehicle type?

No. Everything can go on one application. Please send the supporting documents and other information (e.g. fleet information, incentive calculation, proposed fueling plan and maintenance plan for each vehicle type) as a separate file.​