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Volatility in the energy market results in a change to the cost of gas
Jun 10, 2022
FortisBC offers one-on-one support to customers who may need assistance in paying their gas bills
SURREY, B.C., June 10, 2022 – The British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) has approved FortisBC Energy Inc.’s (FortisBC’s) request to increase the cost of gas rates for all of its customers beginning July 1, 2022. The increase is a result of current global market conditions that have made the cost of gas more expensive. FortisBC strives to deliver a safe and reliable supply of gas at the lowest reasonable cost and does not mark up the cost of gas; the cost that FortisBC pays is what is passed on to its customers.
“This coming quarter, the cost of gas is going up due to rising gas commodity costs driven by global market conditions. In fact, we are seeing ten-year highs for natural gas both in Canada and on the international front,” said Joe Mazza, vice-president, energy supply and resource development at FortisBC. “We have taken a number of measures, such as investing in or buying gas from a variety of sources to help protect our customers as much as possible from these market highs.”
Natural gas is a commodity traded on the North American marketplace, like oil, coal, coffee or lumber. As with most commodities, the price is affected by any number of factors including supply levels, weather and economic conditions. Energy prices have been increasing steadily since 2021, driven by surging demand that is outpacing supply. More recently, the war in the Ukraine has also driven energy prices higher as many countries have turned away energy exports from Russia, a major oil and gas producer.
As of July 1, 2022:
Mainland and Vancouver Island (including North and South Interior, Whistler and Revelstoke)
- The cost of gas rate will change by $1.40 per gigajoule (GJ) from $4.50 per GJ to $5.90 per GJ. For residential customers, monthly bills will increase by approximately $11 or 11 per cent. This is based on an average household consumption of approximately eight GJs per month.
- The cost of gas rate will change by $1.38 per GJ from $3.96 per GJ to $5.34 per GJ. For residential customers, monthly bills will increase by approximately $14 or 15 per cent. This is based on an average household consumption of approximately 10 GJs per month.
FortisBC understands the pressures some customers may be facing with increasing cost of living and the ability to pay their bills, which is why the company offers a number of ways to support its customers. FortisBC is always ready to work with customers on payment arrangements as a way to help customers take more control. For instance, customers can sign up for an Equal Payment Program (EPP) to set up 12 equal payments to help them avoid seasonal fluctuations. Should any customer need support with their bills, FortisBC is always available to help find tailored solutions to suit unique needs and provide advice for conserving energy.
As an energy solutions provider regulated by the BCUC, FortisBC reviews the costs of gas rates with the BCUC quarterly to make sure the rates passed on to customers reflect the cost of the commodity purchased on their behalf. The cost of gas is only one component of the overall FortisBC gas bill and the next scheduled review is in September 2022.
For more information about rates and the components that make up a FortisBC gas bill, visit: fortisbc.com/rates.
Historical data for Mainland & Vancouver Island (including North and South interior)
Items on a residential natural gas customer’s bill
Daily or monthly basic charge
The basic charge is a flat 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 delivery charge is based on consumption and pays for the cost of safely and reliably delivering gas through our system to our customer’s home or business. This helps cover the costs of maintaining our natural gas distribution system, provides a return to our investors and funds 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 the cost of gas rates with the BCUC to make sure rates passed on to customers cover the cost of the commodity purchased on their behalf. We do not mark up the cost of gas, so customers pay what we pay.
- Factors affecting the market price of natural gas in North America include weather, supply and demand and economic conditions.
- FortisBC does not mark up the cost of gas, customers pay what we pay.
Other charges and taxes
Other charges and taxes include the BC carbon tax, Clean Energy Levy, goods and services tax and, in some municipalities, a 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 Energy Inc. is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, renewable gas and propane. FortisBC Energy Inc. employs more than 1,900 British Columbians and serves approximately 1,054,097 customers across British Columbia. FortisBC Energy Inc. owns and operates approximately 50,182 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. FortisBC Energy Inc. uses the FortisBC name and logo under license from Fortis Inc. For further information on FortisBC, visit www.fortisbc.com. For further information on Fortis Inc., visit www.fortisinc.com.