Revelstoke propane users will see rate decreases after an application to the BC Utilities Commission was approved.
Last year, FortisBC applied to amalgamate their propane and natural gas portfolios.
“This approval means reduced rates and greater stability to the cost of propane for Revelstoke customers as historically, natural gas prices are less volatile than propane prices,” according to a statement from FortisBC.
For example, today, customers in Revelstoke are paying $11.722 per gigajoule for the cost of propane and FortisBC’s customers, outside of Fort Nelson, are paying $2.844 per gigajoule for the cost of natural gas.
Revelstoke customers will pay the same rates as natural gas users starting Jan. 1, 2021.
FortisBC operates an off-grid, satellite propane distribution system in Revelstoke, serving around 1,500 properties. Due to Revelstoke’s distance from the natural gas system and forecasted demand, an extension was deemed uneconomic.
The commission reviewed the application via a written hearing in August 2019 and found natural gas and propane customers should be considered as receiving a single class of service through the provision of a gas energy supply.
“It achieves a balanced allocation of costs, promotes price stability and reduces burdens on a significant customer group by means of a proposal which minimizes negative effects to customers,” said the commission’s reasons for decision document. “At the same time, the proposal leaves open options for emerging efficient and economic alternatives to be considered in the future.”
In January 2020, FortisBC customers in Revelstoke saw a 12 per cent increase in their bills. At the time a spokesperson for the company said it was due to a shortage of propane storage levels and high oil prices. The year prior prices decreased by 11 per cent.