FortisBC receives government approval for amalgamation of gas utilities

Approval brings common rates for majority of natural gas customers

SURREY, B.C., May 28, 2014 /CNW/ - FortisBC has now received the consent of the Lieutenant Governor in Council to amalgamate its natural gas utilities. This follows regulatory approval from the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) in late February.

"With this consent, we now have the necessary government approval required to amalgamate our natural gas utilities, allowing us to eliminate rate discrepancies that previously existed and provide consistent programs and services to our customers," said John Walker, President and CEO of FortisBC.

Common rates will be phased in over a three-year period starting in 2015. Under a common rate structure, each customer will be charged the same rate regardless of where they live. Customers on Vancouver Island are expected to see a decrease of approximately 25 per cent transitioned over three years, while customers in the Lower Mainland and the Interior are expected to see an increase of approximately five per cent phased-in over three years as a result of amalgamation.

All customers will also have access to the same programs and services across our service territory. These include energy efficiency programs and renewable natural gas. The cost of large projects, such as upgrades to natural gas infrastructure and service expansions, will also now be shared among a wider customer base, lessening the cost to each customer over the long-term.

With this approval, FortisBC plans to amalgamate its regulated natural gas utilities FortisBC Energy Inc., FortisBC Energy (Vancouver Island) Inc., FortisBC Energy (Whistler) Inc. and Terasen Gas Holdings Inc. into one legal entity under the name FortisBC Energy Inc.

For further background on common natural gas rates in B.C. visit fortisbc.com/commonrates. Customers are encouraged to check this website in the coming months as more information regarding timing and proposed rates becomes available. FortisBC will be filing rate applications with the BCUC in the coming months.

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 is indirectly wholly owned by Fortis Inc., the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada. FortisBC owns and operates two liquefied natural gas storage facilities and four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,150 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines, and approximately 46,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Inc., FortisBC Energy Inc., FortisBC Energy (Vancouver Island) Inc., and FortisBC Energy (Whistler) Inc. do business as FortisBC. 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

For further information:

MEDIA CONTACT:
Neal Pobran
Manager, Corporate Communications
FortisBC
Phone: 250-718-8986
Email: neal.pobran@fortisbc.com
fortisbc.com
twitter.com/fortisBC
youtube.com/fortisBC


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