SURREY, BC, Dec. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - FortisBC has received approval from the
B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC) to maintain the natural gas and
propane commodity rates it charges most customers, while midstream and
delivery rates will change, effective January 1, 2013.
"While North American gas prices have increased from their lows earlier
this year due to a slowdown in production growth and increased
industrial and power generation demand, and propane prices have risen
due to early cold weather in the eastern U.S. and Canada, FortisBC is
able to avoid any commodity rate increases for our customers at this
time," said Cynthia Des Brisay, vice president of energy supply and
resource development. "Additionally, we are able to lower our midstream
rate for customers due to lower storage and pipeline transportation
costs. While customers may see a slight increase on their monthly bill,
these changes are due to a change in delivery rate approved by the BCUC
earlier this year."
Customers will see changes as follows on January 1, 2013:
Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Interior, North and the Kootenays
Residential customers will see no change to the commodity rate and a
decrease to the midstream rate of between $0.173 to $0.208 per
gigajoule (GJ). As part of the 2012-2013 revenue requirement
application filed last year, FortisBC received approval to increase its
delivery rate by $0.316 per GJ for customers in these regions. The
combined rate change means an increase of $ 0.143 per GJ, or
approximately $14 per year for an average residential customer in the
Lower Mainland using approximately 95 GJ.
Customer Choice program participants can also expect to see the above
changes to the delivery and midstream rates on their bills.
Residential customers will see their commodity rate, which includes the
midstream rate, increase by $0.212 per GJ. As part of the 2012-2013
revenue requirement application filed last year, FortisBC received
approval from the BCUC to increase its delivery rate by $0.583 per GJ
for Whistler customers. The average residential customer using 90 GJ
per year will see an increase of approximately $72 per year.
Residential customers using approximately 140 GJ of natural gas per year
will see an increase of approximately $29. This is based on no change
to the commodity component of rates, which includes the midstream rate,
and from the approved increase to delivery rates for this region.
Residential customers receiving piped propane will see no increase in
the commodity rate of propane. The average residential customer using
approximately 50 GJ of propane per year will see an increase of
approximately $16 due to the approved delivery rate changes.
Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast and Powell River
Rates will remain unchanged from current levels for most customers,
including residential, on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and
Powell River effective January 1, 2013.
FortisBC buys natural gas and propane on behalf of its customers and
passes that price on without mark-up. Every three months, FortisBC
reviews natural gas and propane commodity rates with the BCUC in order
to make sure rates passed on to customers cover the cost of purchasing
the gas on their behalf. Midstream rates, also passed on to customers
without mark-up, cover the storage and transportation of natural gas
delivered to customers. Factors affecting the market price of natural
gas in North America include weather, supply and demand, and economic
conditions. Propane prices are closely linked to global oil markets.
As part of the 2012-2013 revenue requirement application filed last
year, FortisBC received approval for delivery rate adjustments. The
delivery portion of rates is what FortisBC charges to deliver natural
gas and propane service to customers. 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.
For more information on natural gas and propane rates by region, how
commodity rates are set, and to learn more about FortisBC, visit www.fortisbc.com/rates.
FortisBC is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable
energy, including natural gas, electricity, propane and thermal energy
solutions. FortisBC employs more than 2,300 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 47,000 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.
For further information:
Corporate Communications Advisor