The FortisBC natural gas price increase is scheduled to take effect on October 1, 2016. As a homeowner, you may be wondering if there is anything that can be done to save you money on your bill. The answer is YES! Start with a regular maintenance. Servicing your gas appliances each year will help with efficiencies as well as safety testing. Next, take a look at our list of Grants & Rebates for saving on upgrading to high efficiency appliances.
You may have read recent press reports regarding an announcement that natural gas rates will increase this October. Some of these reports have greatly exaggerated the impact of these rates on consumers. The below Q & A puts this increase in perspective by explaining the true cost impact on customers, the reason for the increase, and the underlying fundamentals that suggest natural gas rates will remain at historically low levels for years to come.
Is my gas bill really going up by 80%?
You many have seen recent headlines suggesting that your natural gas bill is going up by 80%. This is incorrect. In reality, what is increasing is one of the line items on your bill, which is related to the cost of gas. The other line items are not changing.
Why the increase?
The reason for the increase is due to a rise in the price of the commodity. FortisBC does not mark up the cost of gas, so customers pay what we pay. Higher than usual summer demand coupled with reduced exploration and production levels have caused the commodity price to increase for the first time in years. Natural gas prices in British Columbia continue to remain near their lowest levels within the last decade. British Columbia, and North America in general, have an abundance of natural gas reserves. While this marks the first increase in years, the underlying fundamentals point to low prices for the foreseeable future.
So what does this increase mean for the average residential consumer in the Interior?
These changes will result in an increase of approximately $82 per year for residential customers, based on an average consumption of 90GJ per year.