They did that pretty quickly – upped the gas prices lickety split. An interim rate increase – do we really expect those rates to come down?

By Staff

March 29, 2104

BURLINGTON, ON.

The long, cold, snowy winter isn’t over yet – and we are going to pay for it for quite a while.

The Ontario Energy Board has approved a 40% hike in natural gas rates for Enbridge Gas Distribution customers that will take effect Tuesday, boosting the average residential customer’s annual bill by about $400 a year.

Enbridge filed its application for the increase March 12, interveners had until March 17, to get their comments in – the Energy Board handed down its decision March 29th to be effective April 1st.  Name someone you know who can get a doctor’s appointment that quickly?

You will look at that gas meter a little differently now – see it as a black sink hole.

The hike is the result of Enbridge running out of its negotiated supply of gas for the winter and having to go to the open market for further supplies.

Enbridge Gas Distribution’s gas supply charge will increase from 12.68 cents per cubic metre to 17.60.

The changes would result in an overall increase of about $33 a month over the next year, according to Enbridge.

Of this $33 a month, about $20 per month relates to costs associated with this past cold winter.

The other $13 relates to the projected forecast natural gas price, both of which will be reviewed again in three months as part of the normal regulatory process.

“Our interim rates take effect on April 1, but customers won’t feel the full impact of the increase right away,” stated a release from Enbridge.

“Virtually all natural gas providers have increased their prices because of increased demand and increased gas prices over this unusually cold winter.”

They do it because they can get away with it – and we are the fools for allowing it.

Do these guys not plan for situations like this?  In their media release they refer to the increase as an “interim rate” that takes place April fool’s.  Does that mean when the supply stabilizes they will negotiate better contracts and drop the rates?  Was having this happen on April Fool’s day a coincidence?

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4 comments to They did that pretty quickly – upped the gas prices lickety split. An interim rate increase – do we really expect those rates to come down?

  • Walter

    Please note that Union gas received a hike of 28%. If I am not mistaken, Burlington is covered by Union Gas.
    I believe that gas pricing in the future will reflect inventory levels. Due to the harsh winter, inventories were depleted quicker than anticipated. In the US, natural gas inventories are 50% below year ago and 50% below the last 5 year average. The law of supply and demand has kicked in and will again be reflected depending on the how much of current inventories can be replenished.

  • John

    What is the old expression – “Figures don’t lie but —”
    First of all natural gas users in Burlington are customers
    of Union Gas and although Union will be increasing the price
    on April 1st the estimated increase for the “average” user
    is $200.00 over the next year or $16.00 per month. So get
    your facts right and stop being an alarmist.

  • Stephen Warner

    I hadn’t realized that the turnaround time was that short. The whole way gas and natural gas prices are set is frustrating. Any “blip” results in an increase but we never see the price revert back to anything close to the original. I understand that supply and demand price model but 40%! Holy cow. If you are on a fixed income and your’re faced with a $500 increase it means you may not eat a healthy meal, or go out to see a movie, or buy that new pair of shoes you needed. As our population ages and all those people that haven’t saved for their retirement are faced with living with a much lesser income … this sort of increase will be devastating.

  • Greg Fabian

    Good bits of information.

    You are correct, that is such a short turnaround for interveners and decision making. Probably the minimum required by law.
    It’s almost as if they were trying to hide something.

    I think we all know that interim price hikes are never reversed when favourable conditions exist.

    The little guy gets screwed again.