Most residents will see lower gas bills in 2020: FortisBC

Dec 4 2019, 1:42 pm

Some BC residents will see a price decrease in their gas bills come the new year, says FortisBC.

The company announced today that it has received regulatory approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) to decrease natural gas bills by about 2% — or $18 for the year — for the majority of customers in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island in 2020.

Last winter, FortisBC announced a 9% increase on interim rates for customers in the region, which resulted from the Enbridge pipeline rupture that took place earlier in October of 2018.

The company says that “significantly reduced pipeline transportation capacity impacted natural gas supply in the region and led to increased storage and transport rates” for its customers.

The company says that while the cost of natural gas currently remains steady, storage and transport capacity is “returning to more normalized levels” leading to the decrease in rates on customers’ bills in 2020.

“Natural gas continues to be an affordable option to heat a customer’s home and water when compared to other energy choices in British Columbia,” said Dennis Swanson, vice-president of energy supply and resource development with FortisBC, in a release.

“And since we don’t mark up the cost of natural gas, our customers pay what we pay.”

The decrease doesn’t apply to all BC residents. Those living in Fort Nelson and Revelstoke (which relies on propane) will see their gas bills go up by 6% and 12%, respectively.

FortisBC says final decisions on rates are expected in 2020, and once received may “result in a bill adjustment for customers.”