SURREY, BC, Sept. 12, 2016 /CNW/ - FortisBC has received approval from the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) to modify natural gas rates. Beginning October 1, 2016 customers will see changes to their bill.
"Natural gas prices have risen since spring 2016. The hotter-than-normal summer, for most of Canada and the US, has resulted in higher-than-expected continental demand for electricity, which is often generated by natural gas," said Dennis Swanson, vice president of energy supply, FortisBC. "This, combined with a slowdown in natural gas production, has led to an increase in prices during the past few months."
"Despite this, natural gas prices are still near their lowest levels in a decade. As we approach the winter heating season, we encourage our customers to continue using energy wisely, to help keep costs down," added Swanson.
Propane rates for Revelstoke customers remained unchanged due to healthy propane storage levels and relatively stable oil prices over the past few months.
Every three months, FortisBC reviews natural gas and propane cost of gas rates with the BCUC to make sure rates passed on to customers cover the cost of purchasing the gas on their behalf. Factors affecting the market price of natural gas and propane in North America include weather, supply and demand and economic conditions. Propane prices are also influenced by global oil markets.
The majority of natural gas customers will see an increase to their cost of gas rate of $0.909 per gigajoule (GJ), meaning the cost of gas rate will change from $1.141/GJ to $2.050/GJ. These changes will result in an increase of approximately $82 annually for residential customers, based on the average use of 90 GJ per year.
Customer Choice program participants will not be affected by changes to the cost of gas rate.
Fort Nelson customers will not see a change to the gas cost recovery charge.
FortisBC is committed to helping customers conserve energy and get the most out of their energy dollar by providing both rebates and advice on energy-efficient appliances and energy saving tips. Those curious about the type of appliances they have in their home and how they may be affecting their energy bill can use the FortisBC energy calculator at fortisbc.com/energycalculator. To learn more about FortisBC's natural gas rates, visit fortisbc.com/rates.
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 owns and operates two liquefied natural gas storage facilities and four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,200 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines, and approximately 47,500 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Inc. and FortisBC Energy Inc. do business as FortisBC. FortisBC is indirectly, wholly owned by Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American electric and gas utility business. 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.
For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Michael Allison, Manager, Corporate Communications, FortisBC, Phone: 604-831-4513, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, fortisbc.com, @fortisBC, youtube.com/fortisBC