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Home Canadian Press Natural gas bills in British Columbia set to rise after pipeline explosion

Natural gas bills in British Columbia set to rise after pipeline explosion

SURREY, B.C. – Most British Columbia residents will pay more for natural gas after an Enbridge pipeline exploded in October near Prince George.

FortisBC says it’s received regulatory approval from the B.C. Utilities Commission on interim rates for customers to take effect Jan. 1.

Diane Roy, vice-president of regulatory affairs, says in a release that Fortis strives to deliver natural gas at the lowest reasonable cost.

But she says there has been an impact to costs associated with actions the utility had to take to stabilize supply after the rupture.

Residential customers in Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and the Interior will see an annual increase of about nine per cent or $68 based on average annual usage.

Those in Fort Nelson will pay about seven per cent more or $51, while those in Revelstoke receiving piped propane will see a decrease of about 11 per cent or $108.

Fortis says these are interim changes and permanent rate decisions are expected in the first quarter of 2019, which may result in a bill adjustment for customers.

The utility adds that weather, supply and demand and economic conditions also affect the market price of natural gas and propane in North America.

The pipeline that ruptured two months ago has been fixed and the company has raised its maximum allowable operating pressure to 85 per cent.

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