After request denied, FortisBC still pushes to amalgamate its gas utilities
May 2, 2013 - FortisBC has filed an application with the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) to reconsider the BCUC’s recent decision to deny FortisBC’s request to amalgamate its three gas utilities and adopt common rates throughout FortisBC’s gas service areas.
By Alyssa Dalton
In April 2012, FortisBC filed an application with the BCUC to amalgamate its three gas utilities: FortisBC Energy, FortisBC Energy (Vancouver Island), and FortisBC (Whistler). The application also proposed common rates for all FortisBC natural gas customers in a given rate class anywhere in the combined service territory. In February 2013, the BCUC denied the application.
“We believe that this application is important to all of our customers and is in the public interest. We have decided to ask the BCUC to reconsider its recent denial of our original application to establish common rates across our natural gas service territories,” said Roger Dall’Antonia, FortisBC VP strategic planning, corporate development & regulatory affairs.
According to FortisBC, the amalgamation would result in lower rates for FortisBC natural gas customers on Vancouver Island and in Whistler, while customers on the Lower Mainland will see slightly increased rates. FortisBC has decided to exclude Fort Nelson from the common rate proposal, and such exclusion is not seen as a barrier to implementing common rates for other FortisBC natural gas service areas, it said.
“As a public utility, our priority is to provide safe, reliable natural gas service at the lowest reasonable cost to our customers,” said Dall’Antonia. “We believe that amalgamating the three gas utilities and adopting common rates is in support of this objective.”