Tools available to customers for further savings on energy costs
SURREY, BC, Sept. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - FortisBC has received approval from the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) to decrease the natural gas commodity rates for most customers starting October 1. Piped propane customers living in Revelstoke will see an increase in their commodity rate.
"Natural gas prices have fallen since spring. The mild summer on the East Coast resulted in a reduced continental demand for power which is often generated by natural gas," said Cynthia Des Brisay, vice president of energy supply and resource development.
"Despite the fact that 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, helping keep costs down."
Natural gas customers are continuing to benefit from lower production costs and increased supply. At the same time, low propane supplies and strengthening oil prices are resulting in increased propane prices.
Customers will see the following changes effective October 1, 2013:
Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Interior, North and the Kootenays
- Residential customers will see a decrease to the commodity rate of $0.641 per gigajoule (GJ). This results in a decrease of approximately $61 per year for an average residential customer in the Lower Mainland using approximately 95 GJ.
- Customer Choice program participants will not be affected by changes to the commodity rate.
- Residential customers will see their commodity rate decrease by $0.641 per GJ. The average residential customer using 90 GJ per year will see a decrease of approximately $58 per year.
- Customers, including residential, will see no change to their commodity rate October 1, 2013.
- Residential customers receiving piped propane will see a commodity rate increase of $3.559 per GJ. The average residential customer using approximately 50 GJ per year of piped propane will see an increase of approximately $178 per year.
Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast and Powell River
- Rates will remain unchanged from current levels for customers, including residential, on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and Powell River effective October 1, 2013.
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. 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.
For more information about FortisBC and rates, visit www.fortisbc.com/rates.
FortisBC is committed to helping customers conserve energy and get the most out of their energy dollar by providing both financial incentives and advice on energy efficient technologies and practices. Those curious about how their energy use may be affecting their natural gas bill can use the FortisBC energy calculator at fortisbc.com/energycalculator.
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 2,200 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.
Backgrounder on Natural Gas Commodity Rates
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.
- Weather, Gulf of Mexico hurricanes, natural gas competitiveness with other forms of energy such as coal, economic conditions and other supply and demand factors.
- FortisBC does not profit on natural gas commodity charges; the price FortisBC pays for the commodity (the gas itself) is a flow through cost.
- Flow through means that FortisBC purchases natural gas on behalf of its customers and passes the costs through to customers without markup. Customers pay what FortisBC pays for the gas itself.
- 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 set by the market.
The following chart shows the commodity rate history of FortisBC since January 1, 2006:
Image with caption: " The commodity rate history of FortisBC since January 1, 2006. (CNW Group/FortisBC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130917_C7999_PHOTO_EN_30930.jpg
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