SURREY, BC, Dec. 4 /CNW/ - Terasen Gas is asking the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) for increases to various rates in several service areas. The proposed changes include increases to midstream and delivery rates for customers in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Interior, North and the Kootenays.
If approved, a typical residential customer in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Interior, North and the Kootenays will see their total annual gas bill rise by about 4 per cent, approximately $44 to $52 per year depending on consumption levels. The changes are a result of the increased cost of storing, transporting and managing the gas delivered to customers. In addition, this includes costs associated with the Customer Choice program, as all residential customers in these service areas are eligible to participate.
"Terasen Gas works to keep customer rates as low as possible. Natural gas commodity costs are passed on without mark up," said Jan Marston, Vice President, Gas Supply and Transmission. "No change has been requested to the cost of gas, which makes up about two thirds of a customer's monthly statement. This follows the October 1, decrease of 5.9 per cent in the annual bills for these customers."
Fort Nelson residential customers could see an increase on their total annual gas bill of about 5.8 per cent, approximately $77 per year depending on consumption levels. This marks the first increase in delivery rates for this service region since 2004. Delivery volumes for the area have decreased over the past four years resulting in a higher cost of service per customer.
If approved, the average residential customer on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and in Powell River would see their total annual gas bill increase by approximately 0.4 per cent or $4.00 per year depending on consumption.
Natural gas is a commodity traded on the open market like oil, coffee or lumber. Factors affecting the price of natural gas include weather, supply and demand and the price of other energy commodities.
Any change in Terasen Gas rates must be approved by the BCUC. The applications ask to have the increases take effect January 1, 2008.
Terasen Gas is mainly composed of the operations of Terasen Gas Inc. and Terasen Gas (Vancouver Island) Inc., both indirect wholly owned subsidiaries of Fortis Inc. Fortis Inc., the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada, serves almost two million gas and electric customers and has $10 billion of assets. Its regulated holdings include Terasen Gas and electric utilities in five Canadian provinces and three Caribbean countries. Fortis Inc. owns non-regulated hydroelectric generation assets across Canada and in Belize and upper New York State. It also owns hotels and commercial real estate in Canada. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com or www.sedar.com.
Terasen Gas may include forward-looking statements in this release which reflect management's expectations regarding the Company's future growth, results of operations, performance, business prospects and opportunities. Wherever possible, words such as "anticipate", "believe", "expects", "intend" and similar expressions have been used to identify the forward-looking statements. These statements reflect management's current beliefs and are based on information currently available to the Company's management. By their very nature, forward-looking statements are based on underlying factors or assumptions which are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations generally. Such risk factors or assumptions include, but are not limited to, general economic, market and business conditions, regulatory developments, gas distribution operating risks, natural gas prices and supply, weather and competition. Terasen Gas cautions readers that a number of factors could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from the results discussed or implied in the forward-looking statements. These factors should be considered carefully and undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements. For additional information with respect to certain of these risks or factors, reference should be made to Terasen Gas's continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with Canadian Securities Regulatory Authorities. Terasen Gas disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.