New natural gas rates to start Jan. 1, 2021
Although natural gas is abundant, certain factors—such as supply and demand and even the weather—can affect how much it costs. Every three months we carefully review market prices, compare them with the rates customers currently pay and adjust rates up or down to reflect market changes.
Why are rates increasing in January?
Enbridge Gas buys natural gas supplies from the market and we pay other pipeline companies to transport the gas from where it is produced in Western Canada and the U.S. into our distribution system in Ontario. We adjust the rates we charge our customers for these items quarterly to reflect changes in market prices, which are passed through to our customers without mark-up. In addition, On Jan. 1, Enbridge Gas is also implementing changes in its natural gas delivery rates and customer charge, previously approved by the OEB, which are typically adjusted annually.
The changes include:
- An increase in the price we expect to pay to buy natural gas supplies in the coming year.
- A change in the price we expect to pay for transportation services from the market in the coming year.
- Price/cost adjustments for the difference between our forecast for natural gas and natural gas transportation market prices, storage and distribution costs, and the actual costs from prior periods.
- Changes in delivery and storage charges to update our forecasted costs to provide these services in the coming year. These charges also include a facility carbon charge associated with the operation of Enbridge Gas’ facilities to deliver natural gas to you.1
- An increase in the customer charge to partially recover some of the fixed costs associated with maintaining a safe and reliable natural gas distribution system.
1 Excludes 2021 Incremental Capital Module (ICM) impacts.
The cost of natural gas remains relatively low
While the proposed increase in rates may seem high compared to earlier this year, this is because costs were at record lows. A typical residential customer will see an increase of about $17 to $70 a year, depending on where they live, starting Jan. 1, 2021.
Natural gas is still the best value for your energy dollar
Support for customers
We’re committed to helping homes and businesses manage their natural gas bills. If you have concerns about paying your bill, support is available.
Enhanced payment plans
If you need more flexibility on payment dates and amounts, you can arrange to make installment payments to avoid late fees and disconnection.
Get a $500 emergency grant
If you’re having difficulty paying past-due bills, the Low Income Energy Assistance Plan (LEAP) provides a one-time payment of up to $500.
More information available through United Way Simcoe Muskoka.
Help to save energy and reduce costs
We have programs to help homes and businesses lower natural gas use, save money and improve indoor comfort.
Free upgrades for income-qualified homes
Up to $5,000 for energy-efficiency upgrades
Frequently asked questions
The rates will start Jan. 1, 2021 and remain in effect through Mar. 31, 2021.
Enbridge Gas buys natural gas supplies from the market and we pay other pipeline companies to transport the gas supply from where it is produced in Western Canada and the U.S. into our distribution system in Ontario. We adjust the rates we charge our customers for these items quarterly to reflect changes in market prices, which are passed through to our customers without markup. In addition, there are adjustments for the difference between our forecast for natural gas and natural gas transportation market prices, and the actual costs from prior periods.
The price of natural gas varies based on the amount of supply or demand, or even fluctuations in weather. Despite this increase, it’s expected that natural gas will continue to be the most affordable source of energy for homes and businesses.
You'll see two types of natural gas rate changes during the calendar year. The first type occurs quarterly, on the first of January, April, July and October, to reflect changes in what Enbridge Gas expects to pay for gas commodity and transportation services, as well as differences between forecast and actual costs for prior periods. These changes help ensure that you're billed at a rate that closely reflects the expected market price of gas. The second type of rate change occurs annually and reflects the overall costs to run a safe and reliable natural gas distribution system. All rate changes are approved by the OEB.
Different areas of the province are served by a different mix of natural gas transportation pipelines and gas supply sources, and as such, the costs for Enbridge Gas to buy gas supplies and transportation services from the market, vary by location. In addition, the costs to build and maintain a distribution pipeline system varies by the geographic location for several reasons including different soil conditions (e.g. rockier soil in the north), population density and the distance between homes/businesses and the need for and timing of infrastructure expansions and maintenance. These costs differences are reflected in the four geographically based rate zones.