There was no compunction on behalf of Warfield village council Monday night in gassing a five-year contract with Just Energy for their Natural Gas Fixed Price Program.
Council was disappointed the village had been paying high rates for natural gas — $7.89 per giga joule — in their municipal facilities, when the current market value of gas was around $4 per giga joule.
Natural gas rates are the lowest they have been in years, Coun. John Crozier told council when the item to renew the five-year, fixed rate contract came up in Monday night’s meeting.
Chief administrative officer Vince Morelli said another company tried to sell the Village a flat rate — like Mississauga-based Just Energy did five years ago — and it was $2 per giga joule less than the current contract with Just Energy.
However, Just Energy refused to match the lower rates for the new contract, Morelli told council, and only agreed to drop to $6.15 per giga joule. No one on council supported a renewal of the Just Energy agreement.
“I think we should just pay the going rate,” said Coun. Jim Nelson. “It’s been out of line, but when you sign on for five years, you are dead.”
Council made a motion to discontinue the contract with Just Energy and go with an open market rate with Terasen Gas.
Morelli couldn’t say how much the village would have saved over the last few years had they paid open market rates as opposed to a fixed one.
Just Energy’s sales hook is for customers to lock in on a contract for electricity or natural gas rates for long-term protection against volatility in the markets. Rates are predicted to rise by as much as 50 per cent in the next year, before dropping further in early 2012.
Garbage service bylaw
Every owner or householder in the village having any trade waste, garbage destroyed or disposed of, or trash dumped by the municipality will be paying $125 per year for the service ($10.42 per month) — the same amount as last year.
Garbage rates are reduced to $118 per year if paid in full on or before the last business day in February. Every year council is required to draft and pass new bylaws on garbage service, as well as water, in case there are increases to be made to the ongoing service.
Water service bylaw
People will be paying the same amount for water service in 2012 as they did in 2011. Council voted to retain the water service rates for the coming year, currently set at $350 per year (or $29.20 per month).
Water rates are reduced to $325 per year if paid in full on or before the last business day in February of each year.