FortisBC files two-year delivery rate application for natural gas customers

SURREY, BC, May 5 /CNW/ - FortisBC has filed a two-year revenue requirement application with the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) that, if approved, would increase rates for natural gas delivery service for most residential customers in the province, effective January 1, 2012.

"Our application carefully considers the growing and changing energy needs of our customers and the communities we serve, and is based on our commitment to continue to provide safe, reliable and cost-effective natural gas delivery service across the province," said Scott Thomson, Executive Vice President, Finance, Regulatory and Energy Supply, FortisBC.

"The requested costs identified in the application also support enhancements to our asset management and system integrity programs to support ongoing investment in the safety and integrity of our delivery system, enabling FortisBC to continue to provide reliable natural gas service."

If the application is approved, the company will continue to develop energy efficiency and conservation programs and initiatives to help customers reduce their energy consumption and lower their monthly utility bills. To help meet the changing needs of customers, and the province's environmental and energy goals, FortisBC will also continue to pursue opportunities to provide renewable energy solutions, including biomethane, and to advance compressed and liquefied natural gas as cleaner transportation fuel alternatives.

The delivery portion of natural gas rates is what FortisBC charges to deliver natural gas service to customers and is the portion that will be affected if the revenue requirement application is approved. 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.

The cost of natural gas service varies from region to region, and if the application is approved, residential customers in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Interior, North and Kootenays would see their total annual gas bill increase by 2.8 per cent, or approximately $28, in 2012 and 3 per cent, or approximately $31 in 2013, depending on consumption. Customer Choice program participants will also see the same changes in their delivery rates.

If the application is approved, residential customers in Whistler will see an increase to their total annual gas bill of 4.7 per cent, or approximately $69, in 2012 and 7.1 per cent, or approximately $115, in 2013, depending on consumption.

Residential customers in Fort Nelson would see their total annual gas bill increase by 1.8 per cent, or approximately $20, in 2012 and 0.6 per cent, or approximately $7, in 2013, depending on consumption.

FortisBC is seeking to maintain current rates for customers on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and in Powell River for a two-year period starting January 1, 2012. This will help dampen the impact to rates with the expiry of the Royalty Revenue agreement on Vancouver Island at the end of this year. This agreement was put in place to help offset the cost to Vancouver Island customers of bringing natural gas to the Island 20 years ago.

Later this year, FortisBC will file an application with the BCUC requesting a common natural gas rate structure across the province.

To learn more about FortisBC natural gas rates, watch our rates video on fortisbc.com.

FortisBC is an integrated energy solutions provider focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity, propane and alternative energy solutions, at the lowest reasonable cost. FortisBC employs more than 2,000 British Columbians and serves approximately 1.1 million customers in more than 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC is indirectly wholly owned by Fortis Inc., the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada. FortisBC owns and operates four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,000 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:

Kirsten Walker
Corporate Communications Manager
Phone: 604-592-7507
Email: kirsten.walker@fortisbc.com
Follow us at: www.twitter.com/FortisBC


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890