CUSTOMER CHOICE for residential natural gas customers

    VANCOUVER, March 5 /CNW/ - Today Terasen Gas kicks-off its customer
education campaign to highlight the arrival of choice in the residential
natural gas market.
    A new program called CUSTOMER CHOICE starts May 1. It will allow natural
gas marketers to sell long-term, fixed-price natural gas contracts to
residential natural gas users. Previously, it was only possible for
residential users to purchase their natural gas from Terasen Gas. Customers
signing natural gas contracts beginning in May will receive their gas at the
marketer's rate starting in November.
    "Our customer education campaign is designed to help consumers learn
about their options and make the choice that's right for them," said Doug
Stout, Terasen Gas Vice President Marketing and Business Development. "To make
an informed choice, consumers need to know what they should ask a gas marketer
and how a marketer's offer differs from our commodity rates. That's where we
hope this education campaign is helpful."
    Terasen Gas does not earn a profit on natural gas commodity charges; the
price it pays for the commodity is a flow-through cost. The company generates
earnings through the delivery of gas to customers. The BCUC approves all
Terasen Gas rate changes.
    Regardless of who a customer purchases natural gas from - a gas marketer
or Terasen Gas - Terasen Gas will continue to deliver the gas, and charge for
delivery and service installations. All customers will still receive a Terasen
Gas bill. The marketer's rate per gigajoule will be shown on those customer's
bills who have selected that option.
    The CUSTOMER CHOICE education campaign, running from March through
November, uses ads in newspapers, TV and radio to ensure customer awareness.
Terasen Gas has also developed bill inserts and has full program details with
an informative video at
    The choice of natural gas suppliers will only be available to Terasen Gas
residential customers in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Interior and the
Kootenays (excluding Fort Nelson and Revelstoke). Due to the different
regulatory agreements in place, it will not be available on Vancouver Island,
the Sunshine Coast, Powell River or Whistler.
    "Our research has told us that customers want a broader range of pricing
options over and above the regulated variable-rate pricing plan that Terasen
Gas is able to offer," said Stout. "This program has been successful in other
jurisdictions and we know it will succeed in BC."
    A similar program for small and mid-size commercial customers was
launched in BC in 2004. Ontario opened its residential market to competition
in the late 1980s; Alberta opened its market in the 1990s while Manitoba
allowed gas marketers in 2000.
    Any energy-related sales calls that customers may receive will be coming
from natural gas marketers and not Terasen Gas. Consumers can expect to
receive natural gas sales solicitations in-person, over-the-phone and through
the mail.
    Last August, the BC Utilities Commission, Terasen Gas's regulator, agreed
to open a portion of the province's residential natural gas market to
competition, allowing homeowners to sign long-term fixed price contracts for
natural gas with companies other than Terasen Gas. This stemmed from the
province's 2002 energy plan.

    Terasen Gas, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, Inc., delivers natural gas
and piped propane to approximately 900,000 homes and businesses in 125
communities throughout BC. Terasen Gas is the common name of three companies:
Terasen Gas Inc., Terasen Gas (Vancouver Island) Inc. and Terasen Gas
(Whistler) Inc.

For further information:

For further information: Joyce Wagenaar, Corporate Communications,
Manager, Phone: (604) 592-7682, E-mail:

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