FortisBC to purchase the assets of Stargas Utilities
FortisBC Energy Inc. has an agreement in place to purchase the operating assets of Stargas Utilities Ltd., a natural gas utility that serves approximately 375 customers within the Silver Star Mountain Resort.
What are the benefits of being a FortisBC customer?
If the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) approves this application, current customers of Stargas Utilities can look forward to the benefits of becoming a FortisBC natural gas customer.
FortisBC is a leading energy solutions provider in BC, and these customers would be joining our existing network of approximately 1.2 million customers receiving natural gas, electricity, renewable gases, propane and alternative energy solutions.
We have the resources and infrastructure in place to deliver safe and reliable energy, and we have a customer contact centre to support our customers.
By joining FortisBC, current Stargas Utilities customers will also have the opportunity to participate in our conservation and energy management incentive programs including high-efficiency appliance rebates and the Renewable Natural Gas program, once available.
What are the next steps?
As part of this process, we have filed a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity application with the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC). We’ll need their approval before we can purchase the assets of Stargas Utilities. We hope to receive approval and complete the purchase by the fall of 2021.
How does FortisBC’s purchase of Stargas Utilities’ assets, as opposed to purchasing the utility entirely, affect current Stargas Utilities customers?
As we’re not acquiring the utility entirely, you’ll start fresh as a FortisBC customer after the purchase. Any billing and collections matters before the purchase remain with Stargas Utilities and you’ll need to work with them directly.
How does this impact the rates current Stargas Utilities customers?
This is subject to approval from our regulator, the British Columbia Utilities Commission, so we don’t have the specifics yet. In our application, we have stated that you will be charged current FortisBC rates which are lower than Stargas Utilities rates.
Will it be possible to see, and manage our account details online? Can we track our natural gas usage?
Absolutely! As you become our customer and have access to your new account via a tool called Account Online, you’ll be able to see and manage your account. You can also use a tool through Account Online called My Energy Use, to track how much energy you use and create customized plans to lower that usage even further.
Will FortisBC use Indigenous labour and companies for this project?
We value the knowledge and expertise Indigenous consultants and contractors contribute to an energy project and welcome the opportunity to develop mutually beneficial relationships with First Nations communities. At this time, there's no construction planned as part of this asset purchase.
The majority of our customers pay around $15 to connect to natural gas service, but each situation is unique and we’ll only be able to answer this question through the application process. It’s important to note that we can’t take in any new applications to connect to natural gas service until we complete the purchase, but you will continue to receive natural gas service even through your application. More information is available through Account Online.
When will we be able to access rebate programs?
As soon as you become a FortisBC customer, you’ll be able to formally apply to access our rebate programs. If you have questions about our rebates, contact us online or call us at 1-855-909-2329.