Modernizing British Columbia’s gas system

Oct 3, 2019

Upgrading to advanced gas meters will improve reliability and customer benefits

SURREY, B.C., – FortisBC is starting community engagement on a proposal to upgrade its gas meters to new advanced meters, as it explores ways to improve the reliability of its system and add new customer benefits.

The Advanced Gas Meters project would upgrade the meters of more than one million natural gas customers between 2022 and 2026.

“This project would help us build a stronger, more reliable system to deliver natural gas to homes and businesses across British Columbia,” said Douglas Stout, FortisBC vice-president of market development and external relations. “Upgrading to advanced meters would modernize our gas infrastructure. The new meters would allow us to better monitor and manage our system – for example FortisBC could remotely detect and respond to gas leaks.”

The project is one of a number of upgrades FortisBC is exploring to improve the resiliency of the system that supplies B.C. homes and businesses with natural gas.

The gas meter technology currently used in B.C. has not fundamentally changed in more than 100 years. The new meters are smaller, have no moving parts and are expected to last longer than existing meters. They use sound waves to measure gas use and send the information to FortisBC through a wireless network, meaning FortisBC would no longer need to read individual meters manually.

The new meters would offer benefits for customers such as access to daily updates on gas use and the convenience of not having their gas service shut off during future meter exchanges.

FortisBC will be holding information sessions across B.C. in October and November. To learn more about the Advanced Gas Meters project including details on information sessions visit FortisBC.com/advancedgasmeters.

FortisBC will file an application for British Columbia Utilities Commission approval in 2020. If approved, installation of new meters is expected to start in 2022.

Backgrounder

By the numbers

  • 100 – The years, at least, since the existing gas meter technology fundamentally changed.
  • 130,000 – The approximate number of FortisBC customers already using advanced meters for electricity.
  • 1,100 – The estimated tonnes per year of greenhouse gas emissions eliminated by no longer having to manually read meters.

Existing gas meter and advanced gas meter

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What’s new about advanced gas meters? 

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Advanced Gas Meters project proposed timeline

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Media contact

Alex Munro
Corporate Communications Advisor
FortisBC Energy Inc.
alex.munro@fortisbc.com
fortisbc.com
24-hour media line: 1-855-322-6397

FortisBC
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.
FortisBC Inc. and FortisBC Energy Inc. do business as FortisBC. The companies are indirect, wholly owned subsidiaries of Fortis Inc. FortisBC uses the FortisBC name and logo under license from Fortis Inc.
Forward-looking information
Certain statements in this news release contain forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws in Canada (“forward-looking information”). The purpose of the forward-looking information is to provide management's expectations regarding results of operations, performance, business prospects and opportunities, and it may not be appropriate for other purposes.
All forward looking information is given pursuant to the safe harbour provisions of applicable Canadian securities legislation. The words “anticipates”, “believes”, “budgets”, “could”, “estimates”, “expects”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “may”, “might”, “plans”, “projects”, “proposes”, “schedule”, “should”, “will”, “would” and similar expressions are often intended to identify forward-looking information, although not all forward-looking information contains these identifying words. The forward-looking information in this news release includes, but is not limited to, statements regarding FortisBC’s estimated timeframes and proposed benefits of installing advanced gas meters at our customers’ properties (the “Advanced Gas Meter project”). The forward-looking information also includes the timing and the possible approval of the Advanced Gas Meter project by the British Columbia Utility Commission (“BCUC”). The forward-looking information reflects management's current beliefs and is based on assumptions developed using information currently available to the Corporation's management. Assumptions, which include, but are not limited to, receipt of applicable regulatory approvals and requested rate orders. Although FortisBC believes that the forward-looking statements are based on information and assumptions which are current, reasonable and complete, these statements are necessarily subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties. For additional information on risk factors that have the potential to affect the Corporation, reference should be made to the Corporation's continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and to the heading "Business Risk Management" in the Corporation's annual and quarterly Management Discussion and Analysis. Except as required by law, the Corporation undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking information as a result of new information, future events or otherwise after the date hereof.