FortisBC graph shows how

FortisBC graph shows how

FortisBC shelves natural gas conversion for Revelstoke

Utility no longer pursuing regulatory approval as cost of propane closer to natural gas.

Revelstoke’s Fortis BC customers will remain on propane for the foreseeable future.

This was the news conveyed to Revelstoke council’s committee of the whole last Thursday.

Fortis spokesperson Michael Allison told the Review, prior to the committee meeting, that the utility provider is no longer pursuing regulatory approval to convert its Revelstoke propane users to natural gas – an effort that began in October 2014, when propane prices were notably higher than they are today.

“Propane rates are approximately 60 per cent lower now than they were in 2014,” said Allison. “So that’s the good news… there isn’t that rate discrepancy between natural gas and propane.”

In response to the discrepancy that existed in 2014, Allison said Fortis initiated extensive project planning and design work towards a conversion.

“That included community consultation and design work and surveying what appliances people had,” said Allison. “We put together a detailed piping distribution and appliance conversion plan.

“Essentially, what we looked at was could we convert the town of Revelstoke from propane, which they currently are on, our Fortis BC customers, to natural gas which, at the time, would have been cheaper.”

While the conversion won’t proceed, Allison said if propane rates should rise again, much of the work is already done so the project wouldn’t take a number of years before it could be implemented.

“It would be quite quick to implement a conversion plan or put that forward for the regulator,” said Allison.