FortisBC asking customers to reduce natural gas consumption

Nov 15 2018, 4:23 pm

Despite repairs and resumed operation to the Enbridge transmission pipeline, FortisBC is still without access to an adequate supply of natural gas — and is asking consumers to cut back on their usage.

After the pipeline rupture took place last month, FortisBC was quick to ask customers to reduce their natural gas consumption and according to the company, usage dropped by 20 percent.

However, with temperatures slowly dropping, customers are once again being asked to watch the amount of natural gas they’re using.

Roger Dall’Antonia, president and CEO of Fortis BC, explains that even with the repairs, there still isn’t enough natural gas to go around.

“While we’ve made strides in improving the gas supply, given the given the current Enbridge delivery capacity, we simply don’t have access to enough natural gas to accommodate typical winter natural gas demand at this time,” said Dall’Antonia.

Right now, the Enbridge pipeline is only operating at 55 percent of its normal capacity. The company would see significant challenges should the province see below average temperatures for several days in a row.

Should that happen, Fortis BC would be forced to access natural gas from storage – a supply that’s typically held for the coldest days in the winter.

In order to make up for the lack of supply, Fortis BC has been purchasing natural gas from the open market and maximizing the flow of gas from their Southern Crossing pipeline, which stems from Alberta.

Even with that, customers are once again being asked to conserve natural gas – especially on colder days.

Turning down the thermostat, taking shorter showers, and using cold water for laundry are just some of the methods being suggested.

Any sort of extended period of colder weather could lead to loss of service for major industrial or commercial customers, or even large residential complexes,” said Dall’Antonia, “We need consistent and meaningful conservation across the province as every molecule conserved is gas that can be used to keep homes warm and businesses operating.”

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