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No hikes for natural gas for home heating

North American natural gas prices back to normal after two-year period of volatility.
Natural gas rates staying at current rate in B.C.

The BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) has approved FortisBC’s application to keep natural gas rates in B.C. at the current prices.

The price will be held at $2.23 per gigajoule (GJ), so if customers wonder why their home heating bills are higher this year than last year, that’s more to do with carbon taxes, which increased in April, than the price of natural gas itself.

The BCUC reviews FortisBC's cost of gas rate every three months.

"The cost of gas staying the same this quarter is good news for the families and businesses we serve, especially at a time when the cost of living is continuing to rise," said Joe Mazza, vice-president of energy supply and resource development at FortisBC.

"Commodity rates remain stable due to strong natural gas production volumes and high storage inventory in Western Canada."

Between 2021 and 2022, North American natural gas prices went through a period of volatility, due to an energy crisis in Europe that was exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which led to the loss of Russian natural gas in Europe, and increased LNG imports from the U.S., which elevated prices in North America, including Canada.

B.C. natural gas customers experienced a number of natural gas price hikes between 2021 and 2023, including a nine per cent rate hike in October 2021.

At the beginning of this year, Deloitte Canada predicted natural gas prices would return to normal in 2024, as supply and demand came back into balance. Many oil and gas producers had cut production in 2020 and 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic reducing the demand for energy and fuel.

North American natural gas prices have since returned to normal, thanks to increased production levels bringing supply and demand back into balance.

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