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Natural gas rates stay steady for FortisBC customers this summer
Jun 18, 2018
Low natural gas prices benefit over one million customers
SURREY, BC – FortisBC has received approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) to maintain the cost of gas for its natural gas customers. As of July 1, 2018, FortisBC customers will not see a change to the cost of natural gas on their bill.
The popularity of natural gas continues to grow as an affordable way to heat homes, generate power in remote communities and fuel industries and vehicles. For instance, last year FortisBC saw a record 20,800 new natural gas customers in B.C. and reached one million gas customers in the province last fall. While a significant percentage of B.C. households count on electricity for heating and cooling, natural gas is roughly one-third of the cost.
“Our more than one million customers have made it clear that they want access to natural gas in their homes,” said Diane Roy, vice-president of regulatory affairs at FortisBC. “As both an affordable and reliable fuel, natural gas is a smart choice for our customers especially since prices remain near their lowest levels in over a decade.”
Every three months, FortisBC reviews the cost of gas rates with the BCUC to make sure rates passed on to customers are fair. There is no mark up to the cost of gas, so customers pay what FortisBC pays for natural gas and propane.
As of July 1, 2018:
Mainland, Vancouver Island and Whistler
- There is no change to the current approved cost of gas rate of $1.549 per gigajoule (GJ).
- Customers in Fort Nelson will not see any changes to their bill. The current cost of gas rate is $1.571 per GJ.
- Revelstoke residential customers will see a slight increase to the cost of propane rate from $11.022 per GJ to $11.791 per GJ. Based on an annual average consumption of 50 GJ, this works out to an overall increase of approximately $38 for a full year or four per cent.
For more information about rates, visit: Natural gas rates.
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 residential customer’s bill
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.
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 and 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.
FortisBC is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity and propane. FortisBC employs approximately 2,300 British Columbians and serves approximately 1.1 million customers in 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC owns and operates two liquefied natural gas storage facilities and four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,260 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines, and 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 fortisinc.com.