FortisBC has received approval from the BC Utilities Commission to increase natural gas rates, starting October 1st 2016.“Natural gas prices have risen since spring 2016. The hotter-than-normal summer, for most of Canada and the US, has resulted in higher-than-expected continental demand for electricity, which is often generated by natural gas,” said Dennis Swanson, vice president of energy supply, FortisBC.“This, combined with a slowdown in natural gas production, has led to an increase in prices during the past few months.”

The majority of natural gas customers will see an increase to their cost of gas of $0.909 per gigajoule (GJ), meaning the cost of gas will change from $1.141/GJ to $2.050/GJ. That is an increase of just under 80%. However, commodity fees is just a part of a customers bill. The changes will result in a 12% bump on the average bill.

FortisBC says the change will cost the average BC customer an extra $82 a year, a number that will likely be significantly higher for northern climates. The increase will be reviewed in three months.

** a previous version of the story used a headline indicating natural gas rates are going up 80%. While the commodity price is, it’s just one part of what makes up an overall customer bill. Customers can expect a 12% increase at the end of the day.

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