Direct Energy Regulated Services Files January Rates



    CALGARY, Dec. 21 /CNW/ - Direct Energy Regulated Services (DERS), a
business unit of Direct Energy Marketing Limited, has filed with the Alberta
Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) proposed Gas Cost Flow-through Rates (GCFRs)
for January 2008. Upon approval, these rates will apply to customers who have
not chosen a competitive supplier within the ATCO Gas North and South service
territories.

    
    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 proposed
        January GCFR is increasing from the December rate of $6.326 per GJ to
        $6.706 per GJ.

    -   This GCFR reflects a market price for January supplies of
        approximately $6.169 per GJ as reported by the NGX, and incorporates
        an adjustment of $0.054 per GJ for December and prior months.

    -   The typical residential gas bill for January including rebates based
        on an average 20 GJ of consumption would be approximately $176 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 proposed
        January GCFR is increasing from the December rate of $6.150 per GJ to
        $6.628 per GJ.

    -   This GCFR reflects a market price for January supplies of
        approximately $6.169 per GJ as reported by the NGX, and incorporates
        an adjustment of ($0.46) per GJ for December and prior months.

    -   The typical residential gas bill for January including rebates, based
        on an average 20 GJ of consumption would be approximately $170 in the
        South.
    

    According to the Natural Gas Price Protection Regulation, the GCFR rates
that have been applied for would qualify for rebates of $1.50 per GJ. The
government rebates are triggered during the months of October through March
when the approved rate for two of the three major regulated gas providers in
Alberta exceed the $5.50 per GJ threshold.

    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 20 GJs (including rebates, where
    applicable)?

    -   January 2008, a typical residential bill will be $176

    -   January 2007, a typical residential bill was $193

    -   December 2007 (based on 19 GJ), a typical residential bill was $155

    In the South Service Territory, how will a typical bill this month
    compare to previous months based on 20 GJs (including rebates where
    applicable)?

    -   January 2008, a typical residential bill will be $170

    -   January 2007, a typical residential bill was $194

    -   December 2007 (based on 19 GJ), a typical residential bill was $152

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

    To see the graph showing regulated gas rates each month for the past year,
please visit: http://files.newswire.ca/475/DERS_Jan_Rate_chart.doc.

    How much natural gas does a typical residential customer use?

      Natural gas consumption for a typical residential customer - GJ
      -----------------------------------------------------------------
      Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec  Total
      -----------------------------------------------------------------
       20   17   15    9    6    4    3    3    5   10   15   19   126
      -----------------------------------------------------------------

    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
        January is $6.169 per GJ.

    -   The market price last month at the time of filing was $6.27 per GJ.

    -   Last month's actual market price was approximately $6.214 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 December 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 GCFRs different?

    DERS is required by the EUB 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 January 2008 GCFR Applications on
DERS' website at www.directenergyregulatedservices.com




For further information:

For further information: Lisa Frizzell, Director, Public Relations,
Direct Energy, (403) 290-6835, Lisa.frizzell@directenergy.com


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