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Natural gas bills decreasing in the new year for most FortisBC residential customers

Cost of natural gas remains steady and storage and transport costs decrease overall

SURREY, BC , Dec. 4, 2019 /CNW/ - FortisBC has received regulatory approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC), the regulating body responsible for reviewing and approving rates, to decrease natural gas bills for the majority of its customers to start 2020.  

"Natural gas continues to be an affordable option to heat a customer's home and water when compared to other energy choices in British Columbia ," said Dennis Swanson , vice-president of energy supply and resource development with FortisBC. "And since we don't mark up the cost of natural gas, our customers pay what we pay."

While the cost of natural gas remains steady, storage and transport costs are decreasing overall. Last winter, significantly reduced pipeline transportation capacity impacted natural gas supply in the region and led to increased storage and transport rates for FortisBC's customers in 2019. With regional pipeline transportation capacity returning to more normalized levels this winter, customers will see a decrease to the storage and transport rate on their bills for 2020.

Increases to delivery rates for Mainland and Vancouver Island service area customers are interim and subject to final review and approval by the BCUC. Permanent rate decisions are expected in 2020 which, once received, may result in a bill adjustment for customers. 

As of January 1, 2020 :

Mainland & Vancouver Island (including North and South Interior)

  • A residential customer's overall bill is decreasing by approximately two per cent or $18 for the year based on the average annual usage of 90 gigajoules (GJ).


Fort Nelson

  • A residential customer's overall bill is increasing by approximately six per cent or $49 for the year based on the average usage of 125 GJ.


Revelstoke (propane)

  • A residential customer's overall bill is increasing by approximately 12 per cent or $99 for the year based on the average usage of 50 GJ.
  • An application is currently with the BCUC requesting approval for a common commodity portfolio for Revelstoke customers. If approved, the change would reduce rates and add stability to energy costs in Revelstoke .


A breakdown of the residential rates for each region follows in the Backgrounder.

For more information about rates, and what components make up a natural gas or propane bill, visit: fortisbc.com/rates

FORTISBC
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 1,029,000 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. FortisBC uses the FortisBC name and logo under license from Fortis Inc. For further information visit www.fortisinc.com.

BACKGROUNDER

RATES AT A GLANCE

Below is the breakdown of residential rates for each region effective January 1, 2020 .

Service area

Rate

Change

New rate

Impact to customer

Mainland and Vancouver Island

Delivery

Interim increase of $0.247 per GJ

$4.596 per GJ


Storage and transport

Decrease of $0.443 per GJ

$1.019 per GJ


Cost of gas

No change

No change (current rate of $1.549 per GJ)


Basic charge

No change

$0.4085 per day


Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) customers

Increase of $0.248

$10.535


Total impact*



Annual decrease of $18 or two per cent (based on the average annual usage of 90 GJ).

Revelstoke

Delivery

Interim increase of $0.247 per GJ

$4.596 per GJ


Cost of propane

Increase of  $1.732 per GJ

$11.180 per GJ


Basic charge

No change

$0.4085 per day


Total impact*



Annual increase of $99 or 12 per cent (based on the average annual usage of 50 GJ).

Fort Nelson

Delivery

Increase of $0.384 per GJ

$4.295 per GJ


Storage and transport

Increase of $0.006 per GJ

$0.050 per GJ


Cost of gas

No change

$1.048 per GJ


Basic charge

No change

No change (Current rate of $0.3701 per day)


Total impact*



Annual increase of $49 or six per cent (based on the average annual usage of 125 GJ).

*Based on average residential annual usage for each region.

 

Items on a residential customer's bill

Basic charge
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.

Delivery charge
The delivery charge is based on consumption and pays for the cost of safely and reliably delivering gas through our system to our customers' homes or businesses. 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.


Other charges and taxes
Other charges and taxes include the B.C. carbon tax, Clean Energy Levy, goods and services tax and, in some municipalities, a 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.

SOURCE FortisBC


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