Crude Oil ( ) Brent Crude ( ) Natural Gas ( ) S&P 500 ( ) PHLX Oil ( )
 December 16, 2015 - 7:22 PM EST
Print Email Article Font Down Font Up
FortisBC receives approval for adjustments to natural gas and propane rates

FortisBC receives approval for adjustments to natural gas and propane rates

Canada NewsWire

Changes bring all customers closer to paying the same for natural gas no matter where they live

SURREY, BC, Dec. 16, 2015 /CNW/ - FortisBC has received approval from the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) to modify natural gas and propane rates. Beginning January 1, 2016 customers will see changes to their bill.

This date also marks the second year of a three-year phased-in approach to a common natural gas rate across the province, which will result in customers paying the same for natural gas no matter where they live.

"Natural gas prices in North America have continued to fall due to expectations for a mild winter, strong natural gas production and record natural gas storage levels heading into winter", said Cynthia Des Brisay, vice president of energy supply and resource development. "These factors have resulted in a decrease in the cost of gas effective January 1."

Propane rates for Revelstoke customers remained unchanged due to expectations for a mild winter, healthy propane storage levels and low oil prices.

The BCUC has also set FortisBC's delivery and storage and transport rates, which are generally set once a year. The delivery portion of rates is what FortisBC charges to deliver natural gas and propane service to customers. It enables the company to recover its costs and make investments in its business that will benefit the evolving needs of customers and communities served.

Storage and transport rates include charges FortisBC pays to other companies to transport natural gas to FortisBC's service area.

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.

Below are the rate changes for each region including moving to common cost of gas, delivery, and storage and transport rates. Rates will be effective January 1, 2016.

Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Interior, North and the Kootenays

Customers will see a decrease of $0.77 per gigajoule (GJ) to the cost of gas rate. Residential customers will see an increase of $0.46 per GJ to their delivery rate and a decrease to the storage and transport rate of $0.41 per GJ. For the average residential customer using 90 GJ of natural gas per year, this works out to an overall decrease of approximately $65 per year, or a decrease of 8 per cent.

Customer Choice program participants can also expect to see the above changes to the delivery and storage and transport rates on their bills.

Whistler

Whistler customers will see a decrease of $0.77 per GJ to the cost of gas rate. Moving to a common rate means residential customers in Whistler will see a decrease of $1.26 per GJ to their delivery rates and a $0.41 per GJ decrease to their storage and transport rate. For the average residential customer using 90 GJ of natural gas per year, this works out to an overall decrease of approximately $220 per year, or a decrease of 17 per cent.

Customer Choice program participants in Whistler can also expect to see the above changes to the delivery and storage and transport rates on their bills.

Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast and Powell River

Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast and Powell River customers will see a decrease of $0.77 per GJ to the cost of gas rate. Moving to a common rate means residential customers in Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast and Powell River will see a decrease of $0.52 per GJ to their delivery rates and a $0.41 decrease per GJ to their storage and transport rate. For the average residential customer using 45 GJ of natural gas per year, this works out to an overall decrease of approximately $76 per year, or a decrease of 12 per cent.

Customer Choice program participants in Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast and Powell River can also expect to see the above changes to the delivery and storage and transport rates on their bills.

Revelstoke

Revelstoke residential customers receiving piped propane will not see a change to their cost of propane rate of $6.00 per GJ. Residential customers will see an increase to the delivery rate of $0.46 per GJ. For the average residential customer using 50 GJ of propane per year, this works out to an overall increase of approximately $23 per year, or four per cent.

Fort Nelson

Fort Nelson customers will see a decrease in the gas cost recovery charge of $1.29 per GJ and an increase in the delivery component of rates. For the average residential customer using 140 GJ of natural gas per year, this works out to an overall decrease of approximately $131 per year, or 16 per cent.

Delivery rates are interim, pending a review of FortisBC's common equity component and return on equity, which will take place in 2016.

FortisBC is committed to helping customers conserve energy and get the most out of their energy dollar by providing both financial incentives and advice on energy-efficient technologies and practices. Those curious about how their energy use may be affecting their natural gas bill can use the FortisBC energy calculator at fortisbc.com/energycalculator or to learn more about FortisBC's natural gas rates, visit fortisbc.com/rates.

Natural gas is an affordable choice for space and water heating for B.C. homes and businesses. As other energy costs continue to rise, natural gas has remained the affordable option for over a decade now. Today, the average homeowner pays less than a latte for the natural gas they use at home for one day, which is significant given that space and water heating together represent up to 78 per cent of Canadian home energy costs. In addition, with natural gas heating systems now up to 98 per cent efficient, natural gas is more affordable than other energy sources.

FortisBC is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity and propane. FortisBC employs more than 2,200 British Columbians and serves approximately 1.1 million customers in 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC owns and operates two liquefied natural gas storage facilities and four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,200 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines, and approximately 47,500 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Inc. and FortisBC Energy Inc. do business as FortisBC. FortisBC is indirectly, wholly owned by Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American electric and gas utility business. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com or www.sedar.com.

SOURCE FortisBC

MEDIA CONTACT: Michael Allison, Manager, Corporate Communications, FortisBC, 604-831-4513, Michael.allison@fortisbc.com, fortisbc.com, @fortisbcCopyright CNW Group 2015


Source: Canada Newswire (December 16, 2015 - 7:22 PM EST)

News by QuoteMedia
www.quotemedia.com