Direct Energy Regulated Services Announces Natural Gas Rates for December 2012

CALGARY, Alberta, Dec. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - Direct Energy Regulated Services has announced default natural gas rates for December 2012. These rates will apply to customers who have not chosen a competitive supplier within the ATCO Gas North and South service territories. The rates have been verified by the Alberta Utilities Commission.

North Service Territory
The North territory includes customers living in and north of the City of Red Deer.

  • For customers in the ATCO Gas North service territory, the December regulated natural gas rate is increasing from the November rate of $3.541 per GJ to $3.582 per GJ.
  • This rate reflects a market price for December supplies of approximately $3.318 per GJ as reported by the NGX, and incorporates an adjustment of $0.264 per GJ for November and prior months.
  • The typical residential gas bill for December based on an average 18 GJ of consumption would be approximately $134 in the North.

South Service Territory
The South territory includes customers living south of the City of Red Deer.

  • For customers in the ATCO Gas South service territory, the December regulated natural gas rate is decreasing from the November rate of $3.573 per GJ to $3.542 per GJ.
  • This rate reflects a market price for November supplies of approximately $3.318 per GJ as reported by the NGX, and incorporates an adjustment of $0.224 per GJ for November and prior months.
  • The typical residential gas bill for December based on an average 18 GJ of consumption would be approximately $123 in the South.

Further information on regulated gas supply and a complete list of competitive retailers can be found on the Alberta government's customer choice website at: www.ucahelps.gov.ab.ca.

Backgrounder

In the North Service Territory, how will a typical bill this month compare to previous months based on 18 GJs?

  • December 2012, a typical residential bill will be $134
  • December 2011, a typical residential bill was $140
  • November 2012 (based on 14 GJ), a typical residential bill was $113

In the South Service Territory, how will a typical bill this month compare to previous months based on 18 GJs?

  • December 2012, a typical residential bill will be $123
  • December 2011, a typical residential bill was $129
  • November 2012 (based on 14 GJ), a typical residential bill was $104

How does this month's market price compare to last month?
The regulated rate is based in part on the current market view of natural gas prices for the month, as reported by NGX:

  • As of the time the rate application was filed, the market price for December was $3.318 per GJ.
  • The market price last month at the time of filing was $3.147 per GJ.
  • Last month's actual market price was approximately $3.350 per GJ.

Why are there adjustments this month?
The formula used to calculate the regulated rate accounts for any over-or under-recoveries of actual gas costs arising from differences in:

  • normal and actual weather, which affects the volume of natural gas consumed; and
  • forecast and actual market prices occurring in January and prior months.

Why do natural gas prices fluctuate?
Natural gas prices are set in an open and competitive market, and are influenced by many variables throughout North America and the world. These variables include supply and demand, production and exploration levels, storage injections and withdrawals, continental weather patterns, pricing and availability of competing energy sources, and market analysts' views of future trends in any of these or other variables. Natural gas prices in Alberta are not typically a function of localized weather.

Why are North and South regulated natural gas rates different?
DERS is required by the Alberta Utilities Commission to purchase natural gas for ATCO Gas' North and South systems separately. Each system has slightly different load, weather, and supply characteristics that result in a different mix of Monthly and Daily Index purchases.

For more information, please view the December 2012 regulated natural gas rate applications on DERS' website at www.directenergyregulatedservices.com

SOURCE: Direct Energy Regulated Services

For further information:

Jeff Lanthier, Manager, External Relations, Direct Energy Regulated Services, +1-905-943-6260, Jeff.Lanthier@directenergy.com

http://www.directenergyregulatedservices.com