Direct Energy Regulated Services Announces Natural Gas Rates for February 2012

CALGARY, Alberta, Jan. 31, 2012 /CNW/ - Direct Energy Regulated Services has announced default natural gas rates for February 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 February regulated natural gas rate is decreasing from the January rate of $2.952 per GJ to $2.147 per GJ.
  • This rate reflects a market price for February supplies of approximately $2.294 per GJ as reported by the NGX, and incorporates an adjustment of ($0.147) per GJ for January and prior months.
  • The typical residential gas bill for February based on an average 16 GJ of consumption would be approximately $113 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 February regulated natural gas rate is decreasing from the January rate of $2.957 per GJ to $2.064 per GJ.
  • This rate reflects a market price for February supplies of approximately $2.294 per GJ as reported by the NGX, and incorporates an adjustment of ($0.230) per GJ for January and prior months.
  • The typical residential gas bill for February based on an average 16 GJ of consumption would be approximately $95 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 16 GJs?

  • February 2012, a typical residential bill will be $113
  • February 2011, a typical residential bill was $138
  • January 2012 (based on 20 GJ), a typical residential bill was $144

In the South Service Territory, how will a typical bill this month compare to previous months based on 16 GJs?

  • February 2012, a typical residential bill will be $95
  • February 2011, a typical residential bill was $147
  • January 2012 (based on 20 GJ), a typical residential bill was $128

How does this month's rate compare to previous months?

The graph below shows regulated natural gas rates each month for the past year.

To view this graph, please visit the following link: http://www2.directenergy.com/intranet/images/February_RRO_Graph.jpg

How much natural gas does a typical residential customer use?

To view this table, please visit the following link: http://www2.directenergy.com/intranet/images/February_RRO_chart.png.

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 February was $2.294 per GJ.
  • The market price last month at the time of filing was $2.921 GJ.
  • Last month's actual market price was approximately $2.670 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 February 2012 regulated natural gas rate applications on DERS' website at www.directenergyregulatedservices.com

SOURCE Direct Energy

For further information:

Emily Richardson, Public Relations, Direct Energy Regulated Services, +1-416-758-8979, Emily.Richardson@directenergy.com

http://www.directenergy.com

http://www.ucahelps.gov.ab.ca


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