FortisBC says a volatile market has the company upping natural gas rates effective Aug. 1.
For residential customers in this region of the southern B.C. interior, the rate increase of natural gas will change by $0.73 from $1.549/GJ to $2.279/GJ.
This increase will add roughly $6 per month – or a nine per cent increase – to the bill.
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The British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) recently green-lighted the rate hikes, which impacts the majority of FortisBC customers.
The company says this rate change follows an earlier application to the BCUC, wherein a one-month delay to changing the gas rate was approved, in order to allow further economic recovery of the province.
The cost of natural gas is only one component of the overall FortisBC natural gas bill and the next scheduled review is Oct. 1.
“We strive to provide a safe and reliable supply of natural gas at the lowest reasonable cost,” said Diane Roy, vice-president of regulatory affairs. “Even with the current cost of gas increase, natural gas prices in British Columbia remain among their lowest levels in almost 15 years.”
As an energy solutions provider regulated by the BCUC, FortisBC says it reviews the costs of natural gas and propane rates with the BCUC to make sure the rates passed on to customers are fair.
FortisBC acquires natural gas and propane at market-based prices and factors like supply and demand and economic conditions affect the price of natural gas and propane in North America.
Recently, the price of natural gas has risen due to a drop in North American natural gas production as well as the worldwide impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company says the rate change is to the cost of the gas component only and not to other line items on customers’ bills. FortisBC says it does not mark up the cost of natural gas or propane; the cost that FortisBC pays is what is passed on to customers.
FortisBC Energy Inc. owns and operates roughly 49,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines.
The company employs 1,800+ British Columbians and serves more than one million customers in 135 B.C. communities.