FortisBC or gas marketer: what’s the difference?

Gas marketers are independent of FortisBC, but if you buy from a gas marketer through the Customer Choice Program, FortisBC will still be delivering the natural gas to your home or business, and your natural gas bill will come from FortisBC. So what’s the difference between buying from FortisBC, and buying from an independent gas marketer?

Buying from FortisBC  Buying from an independent natural gas marketer
No fixed contracts. You can stop purchasing natural gas from FortisBC at any time. Contracts are for a period of one to five years. When you sign a Consumer Agreement with a gas marketer, you commit to purchasing natural gas at a fixed rate for one to five years. The amount you pay over the life of the contract can be more or less than what you would be charged by FortisBC.
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. Natural gas 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.
We charge a variable rate.You pay what we pay: we purchase natural gas from producers on the open market and recover that cost from our customers without mark-up. As market prices go up and down, your rate may change accordingly. Rates are reviewed quarterly by the BCUC and can be adjusted based on market conditions. Compare current FortisBC rates with gas marketers’ rates.  Natural gas marketers charge a fixed rate. 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. While you won’t be affected if natural gas prices rise, you also won’t benefit if natural gas prices fall. Compare current FortisBC rates with gas marketers’ rates.
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.  Natural gas marketers make money from the sale of natural gas. Customers purchasing from independent natural gas marketers will still be billed by FortisBC for the natural gas delivery service.
FortisBC does not sell natural gas door-to-door. If a natural gas salesperson at your door is claiming to be with FortisBC, please ask to see their ID and call us at 1-888-224-2710. Natural gas marketers are not associated with FortisBC. They’re licensed independent gas retailers and they may use door-to-door salespeople to sell natural gas to homes and businesses. Signing up with a gas marketer may make you ineligible for some FortisBC Programs, such as Renewable Natural Gas.

Sign up with an independent marketer

  1. Find a licensed independent natural gas marketer.
  2. Compare current FortisBC rates with gas marketers’ rates.
  3. Sign a Consumer Agreement—which is a legally binding contract—with your natural gas marketer of choice.

Certainty behind your choice

If you sign up with a natural gas marketer and they’re unable to serve you for any reason, FortisBC will step in and ensure your natural gas service is not interrupted.