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Cost of natural gas rate changes for FortisBC customers on October 1
Sep 11, 2020
SURREY, B.C., September 11, 2020 – FortisBC Energy Inc. (“FortisBC”) has received regulatory approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) to modify the cost of natural gas rates for its customers beginning October 1. As an energy solutions provider regulated by the BCUC, FortisBC reviews the costs of natural gas and propane with the BCUC every three months to make sure the rates passed on to customers are fair.
“The price of natural gas is driven by the larger market where prices have been increasing,” said Diane Roy, vice-president of regulatory affairs with FortisBC. “Our customers pay what we pay for natural gas, and we take all steps within our control to manage gas costs on behalf of our customers.”
FortisBC acquires natural gas and propane at market-based prices, which are affected by factors like supply and demand and economic conditions in North America. FortisBC does not mark up the cost of natural gas or propane; the cost that FortisBC pays is what is passed on to customers.
“We understand that energy costs are an important consideration in household budgets and increasing bills, even by small amounts, have an impact,” adds Roy. “If customers have a concern about their bill, we are always here to assist in ways that best support their individual circumstances.”.
As of October 1, 2020:
Mainland and Vancouver Island (including North and South Interior)
- For residential customers, the cost of natural gas will change by $0.565 from $2.279/GJ to $2.844/GJ. Monthly bills will increase by approximately five dollars or six per cent. This is based on an average household consumption of eight gigajoules (GJ) of natural gas per month.
- For residential customers, the cost of natural gas will change by $0.712 from $1.695/GJ to $2.407/GJ. Monthly bills will increase by approximately seven dollars or 10 per cent. This is based on an average household consumption of 10 GJ of natural gas per month.
- For residential customers, the cost of propane will hold steady at $11.722/GJ.
FortisBC provides a safe and reliable supply of natural gas at the lowest reasonable cost. Even with the current cost of natural gas increase, natural gas prices in British Columbia remain among the lowest levels in almost 15 years. For more information about rates, and what components make up a natural gas or propane bill, visit: fortisbc.com/rates.
Historical data for Mainland & Vancouver Island (including North and South interior)
Rates at a glance
Below are the rate changes for each region effective October 1, 2020.
||Cost of gas charge per GJ
||Storage and transport charge per GJ
||Fixed and variable delivery charges Fixed Basic charge per day/month
||Total annual bill change*
|Mainland & Vancouver Island (including North and South Interior)
||Increase of $0.565 from $2.279/GJ to $2.844/GJ.
||Approximately $51 per year, or six per cent annually.
||Increase of $0.712 from $1.695/GJ to $2.407/GJ.
||Approximately $89 per year, or 10 per cent annually.
||No change at $11.722/GJ.
||No change||No change
Items on a residential 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 basic charge is reviewed by the BCUC annually.
Effective August 1, 2020, FortisBC received approval from the BCUC to implement a Clean Growth Innovation Fund. This fund will be reflected in the daily or monthly fixed basic charges on customers’ bills (depending on the applicable rate schedule 1 to 27), which will have an overall impact of approximately five dollars per year per customer.
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, provide a return to our investors 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.
Other charges and taxes
Other charges and taxes include the B.C. 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 retain the revenue it collects from these charges.
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 1,029,000 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. FortisBC uses the FortisBC name and logo under license from Fortis Inc. For further information visit www.fortisinc.com.