FortisBC or transportation gas marketer: what’s the difference?
Some commercial natural gas customers can choose to purchase natural gas from a transportation gas marketer, rather than FortisBC. Learn about the differences between the two options here.
Buying from FortisBC
- No fixed contracts. You can stop purchasing natural gas from FortisBC at any time.
- We’re regulated by the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC). We operate under BCUC regulations that prevent us from offering fixed-term, fixed-rate contracts or different prices to customers in the same rate class.
- We make money by charging for our natural gas delivery service. This includes the pipelines and other infrastructure needed to deliver natural gas to your neighbourhood.
- FortisBC customers will receive one monthly bill for natural gas.
Buying from a transportation gas marketer
- Contracts are negotiated. When you sign a contract with a gas marketer, you can negotiate the gas supply arrangements that suit your commercial needs.
- Transportation marketers’ prices are not regulated by the BCUC. Although the BCUC oversees gas marketers’ activities, it does not regulate their prices. Gas marketers are free to offer different prices and terms to each customer.
- Transportation marketers can charge fixed or variable rates, or both. With a fixed rate, you know exactly what price you’ll be paying for gas each month. You’re insulated from market rate increases due to fluctuations in the gas commodity market and the potential impact of weather, economic conditions and international events. You’re also protected against changes in production and transportation costs. You won’t be affected if natural gas prices rise, and you also won’t benefit if natural gas prices fall the way you would with a variable rate.
- Transportation marketers provide only the natural gas. Customers purchasing from independent natural gas marketers will still be billed by FortisBC for the natural gas delivery service.
- Transportation marketers are not associated with FortisBC. They’re independent gas retailers.
- Transportation service customers will receive two monthly bills. You’ll get a bill from FortisBC for delivering the gas to your business, and a bill from your gas marketer for your natural gas supply. Note: there won’t be any provincial tax charged on the bill from FortisBC (for those who don’t have provincial tax exemption) when you purchase gas through a marketer.
Costs or obligations for transportation service customers
The transportation marketer will charge you for the natural gas commodity, based on the metered volumes supplied by FortisBC and the details of your contract. Your monthly charges from FortisBC will include:
- basic monthly charge (the same as you currently receive for Rate
schedule 3or 5)
- administration charge
- demand charges (applies to Rate 25 only, same as that applicable to
- delivery charges per gigajoule
- riders (fine-tuning charges applied to gas rates—the same as you would be charged on
Rate 3or 5)
- AMR/meter upgrade charge: this applies to Rate 23 only, and is assessed to cover the costs of installing a meter capable of handling automated meter reading (AMR), and the cost of the AMR device. This is not assessed for Rate 25, or if there is already an AMR installed.
Analogue telephone line installation for transportation service customers
If you sign up for transportation services, we’ll install AMR equipment at your existing meter location. The equipment is usually cellular; however, if cell phone coverage is not available we’ll contact you and provide guidelines for analogue phone line installation.