SURREY, BC, Sept. 5 /CNW/ - Terasen Gas has now filed applications to the
British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) to reduce its natural gas
commodity rates for customers in most regions of B.C. If the applications are
approved, commodity rate decreases will take effect October 1, 2008.
"We are pleased market conditions have changed allowing us to apply for
lower customer rates prior to the upcoming winter heating season," said
Cynthia Des Brisay, Terasen Gas Vice President, Gas Supply and Transmission.
"Natural gas is traded on a North American market basis and conditions
including strong production levels in the US, a mild summer across most of the
continent and a hurricane season that has not resulted in any significant gas
production disruptions to date have enabled storage balances to rebound and
prices to fall from the highs of early July."
Terasen Gas purchases natural gas and propane for its customers, and
passes that cost on without mark-up. Natural gas is a commodity traded on the
North American markets like oil, gold or lumber. Its price is affected by
weather, supply and demand, international events and market speculation. Every
three months, natural gas and propane commodity prices are reviewed with the
BCUC in order to ensure the rates customers are charged for natural gas are
sufficient to cover the cost of purchasing the gas.
In the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Interior, North and the Kootenays
the proposed decrease would drop the commodity price of natural gas by
$1.86 per gigajoule. The decrease works out to an annual savings of about
12 per cent or between $177 and $204 per year, depending on consumption
levels. The decreases will not impact the commodity rates for those customers
participating in the Customer Choice program.
In the Fort Nelson area, the proposed decrease would reduce the commodity
price of natural gas by $1.73 per gigajoule. For the household consuming an
average of 160 gigajoules per year, this works out to a savings of
approximately 15 per cent, or $276 on the total annual gas bill.
The rate reduction would not apply to customers on Vancouver Island,
Sunshine Coast and Powell River since they are covered by a different
regulatory agreement. Customers in this region did not experience the
increases that were felt by other regions in the province this past April and
No changes to propane rates are expected at this time for Whistler and
Terasen Gas uses several tactics and strategies to ensure a reliable
supply of natural gas at a reasonable price for our customers including:
- purchasing gas from a variety of sources;
- locking in the price of gas through the use of futures contracts;
- placing gas in storage during the summer for use at a later date when
the demand and price are typically higher, and
- purchasing a portion of the supply from the spot market.
"Using energy wisely is one of the easiest ways for customers to lower
their natural gas bills," says Des Brisay. "We actively promote energy
efficiency and conservation throughout the year, and we currently have an
application before the BCUC to expand our programs aimed at helping customers
save energy and money, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions."
Customers can visit www.terasengas.com for energy saving tips and
information. Natural gas is competitive with electricity and remains the best
energy source for space and water heating and overall home comfort.
Terasen Gas delivers natural gas and propane through three companies that
make up the Terasen Gas group: Terasen Gas Inc., Terasen Gas (Vancouver
Island) Inc. and Terasen Gas (Whistler) Inc. The companies share common
Terasen Inc. ownership and are indirect wholly owned subsidiaries of Fortis
Inc. Fortis Inc., the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada,
serves two million gas and electric customers and has more than $10 billion of
assets. Its regulated holdings include Terasen Gas and electric utilities in
five Canadian provinces and three Caribbean countries. Fortis Inc. owns
non-regulated hydroelectric generation assets across Canada and in Belize and
upper New York State. It also owns hotels and commercial real estate in
Canada. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade
under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at
http://www.fortisinc.com/ or http://www.sedar.com/.
For further information:
For further information: Media contact: Joyce Wagenaar, Director,
Corporate and Marketing Communications, Terasen Gas Inc., (604) 592-7682,