Natural Gas Rate Changes Are No Joke

Posted: April 04, 2018
Tagged As: budgeting, Energy, Natural Gas

April 1st brought with it some laughter and Tom Foolery in honour of April Fool’s Day.  It also brought rate changes to utility Natural Gas rates across Ontario.  Below are the approved rate changes from the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) that took effect on April 1st.  Note that the rates listed are residential rates.  Rates for non-residential accounts will vary slightly. 

Residential Natural Gas Rates at April 1, 2018

Natural Gas Utility Effective Price (¢/m³)
Union Gas Limited (South) * 13.9327 ¢/m³
Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. 9.2346 ¢/m³
EPCOR Natural Gas Limited Partnership (formerly Natural Resource Gas Limited) ** 15.2838 ¢/m³
* The rate for Union South includes transportation charges. 
** The rate for EPCOR includes storage and transportation charges.
 
The OEB sets natural gas rates four times a year (in January, April, July and October).  The rate adjustments come at the request of utilities, who are looking to cover expenses affected by two sets of costs:
 
  • Future Costs. Utilities estimate how much gas they expect their customers to use, based on previous years. Then they estimate the market price for natural gas over the next 12-month period.
 
  • Past costs. Utilities also review the difference between what they previously forecast customers would pay and what they actually paid. They call this the Gas Price Adjustment or Cost Adjustment on your bill. It can increase or lower the rate accordingly.
 
The rates listed above are the “effective price” for each utility.  Details of the supply price and any cost adjustments for each utility are below.  Each utility has different supply rates. Delivery rates also vary based on several factors, including their operating costs.

Union Gas

Rate Zone Natural Gas Price (¢/m³) Gas Price Adjustment (¢/m³) Effective Price (¢/m³)
South * 12.3167 (¢/m³) 1.6160 (¢/m³) 13.9327 (¢/m³)
North East ** 12.5991 (¢/m³) 0.3081 (¢/m³) 12.9072 (¢/m³)
North West 9.6085 (¢/m³) -0.9836 (¢/m³) 8.6249 (¢/m³)
* The commodity rates for Union South include all of the transportation costs. 
** The commodity rates for Union North East include a portion of the transportation costs.

Enbridge

Natural Gas Price (¢/m³) Gas Price Adjustment (¢/m³) Effective Price (¢/m³)
9.4452 (¢/m³) -0.2106 (¢/m³) 9.2346 (¢/m³)
 

EPCOR Natural Gas Limited Partnership

Gas Supply Charge (including quarterly adjustment) = 15.2838 ¢/m3
 
The frequent changes in the above noted rates can make municipal budgeting a challenge.  If you are interested in a more stable Natural Gas solution, you may want to explore the LAS Natural Gas Program.

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