Natural gas rates are going down for FortisBC customers in the Lower Mainland.
A 34 per cent decrease in the commodity rate to $2.486 per gigajoule effective April 1 means users should pay about $117 per year less on their bills in the Lower Mainland.
FortisBC energy supply vice-president Cynthia Des Brisay said a combination of factors have resulted in approval by the B.C. Utilities Commission of the lowest commodity rate charges seen in a decade.
“Natural gas prices are lower coming out of this past winter due to reduced overall demand for natural gas to heat homes and generate power,” she said.
“At the same time, supplies of natural gas have increased, allowing storage levels to return to normal levels.”
Overall, natural gas bills won’t drop as sharply because customers are also charged other fees, including a rate to deliver the gas, that together add up to more than the commodity rate charged for the gas itself.
The typical Lower Mainland gas user should see their monthly bill drop from around $81 now to about $71 after the rate change, assuming average consumption of eight gigajoules per month.
FortisBC doesn’t charge a markup on the gas itself, but instead profits from the delivery charge.
The rate change doesn’t affect customers who have contracts with other natural gas suppliers instead of FortisBC.