SURREY, BC, March 18, 2019 /CNW/ - FortisBC has received approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) to maintain the cost of gas at current levels for its natural gas customers. As of April 1, 2019, FortisBC customers will not see a change to the cost of natural gas on their bill. Revelstoke customers receiving piped propane will see a slight increase to the cost of propane.
"Natural gas is an abundant local energy source that helps people heat their homes in a cost-effective way," says Diane Roy, vice-president of regulatory affairs at FortisBC. "With more than a million natural gas customers, it's clear that British Columbians want reliable and affordable energy and this is reflected in our continued customer growth."
Natural gas continues to be British Columbians' top choice for affordable home heating and major appliances. Last year alone, FortisBC saw a record 22,400 new natural gas customers. This growth shows that natural gas continues to have a large role to play into the future alongside sources of renewable gas.
As of April 1, 2019:
Mainland, Vancouver Island and Whistler
- There is no change to the current approved cost of gas rate of $1.549 per gigajoule (GJ).
- Customers in Fort Nelson will not see a change to their current approved cost of gas rate. The current rate is $1.552 per GJ.
- Revelstoke residential customers will see an increase to the cost of propane rate from $10.621 per GJ to $11.446 per GJ. Based on an annual average consumption of 50 GJ, this works out to an overall increase of approximately $41 for a full year or five per cent.
"It is important to remember the cost of gas rate is just one line item that customers see on their bill. FortisBC does not mark up the cost of gas, customers pay what we pay," adds Roy.
For more information about rates and to learn about what components make up a bill, visit: fortisbc.com/rates.
FortisBC Energy Inc. is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, propane and thermal energy solutions. FortisBC Energy Inc. employs more than 1,800 British Columbians and serves approximately 1,008,400 customers in 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC Energy Inc. owns and operates approximately 49,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Energy Inc. is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. For further information visit www.fortisinc.com.
Items on a customer's bill
The basic charge is a flat daily fee that partially recovers the fixed costs of our system, whether or not you are using any natural gas, as long as you are connected to the system. The basic charge is reviewed by the BCUC annually.
The delivery charge is based on consumption and pays for the cost of safely and reliably delivering gas through our system to your home or business. This helps cover the costs of maintaining our natural gas distribution system, earn a return on the amounts invested in our business and fund improvements to meet customers' needs. Delivery charges are reviewed by the BCUC annually.
Storage and transport
Storage and transport reflects the prices we pay to other companies to store and transport gas through their pipelines and infrastructure. We do not mark up these costs, and they are reviewed quarterly and set annually by the BCUC.
Cost of gas
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.
- FortisBC does not mark up the cost of gas. Customers pay what we pay.
Natural gas prices in British Columbia continue to remain near their lowest levels for over a decade.
- Natural gas is traded in the North American marketplace as a commodity like oil, gold or lumber. Our commodity rates are reviewed every three months by the BCUC to ensure the rates we are charging appropriately cover the cost of natural gas we purchase on behalf of our customers.
- Rates are reviewed each quarter based on a forecast of what our costs to purchase gas will be over the following 12 months, based on forward prices forecasted by the market.
Other charges and taxes
Other charges and taxes include the B.C. carbon tax, Clean Energy Levy, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and, in some municipalities, the municipal operating fee. These charges are set by various levels of government and collected by FortisBC on their behalf. FortisBC does not gain revenue from these charges.
On April 1, the B.C. carbon tax will be increasing for most natural gas customers. The carbon tax for natural gas carbon tax will change from $1.7381 per GJ to $1.9864 per GJ. There will be additional increases in 2020 and 2021 as well. In addition, the carbon tax for propane will increase to $2.4072 per GJ. Note that carbon tax does not apply to the portions of customer's natural gas chosen from FortisBC's Renewable Natural Gas program.
For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Diana Sorace, Corporate Communications Advisor, FortisBC Energy Inc., [email protected], fortisbc.com, 24-hour media line: 1-855-322-6397