Revelstoke residents are facing a big increase in propane rates starting on April 1. Propane supplier FortisBC announced on Mar. 14 that the cost would go up $4.29 per gigajoule. They explain that adds up to a $215 per year increase for an average customer using 50 GJ per year. Check your bill – if you use more than that, you could be facing bigger increases.
“Propane prices have increased significantly this winter. The persistent and extreme cold weather in the eastern parts of Canada and the U.S. has resulted in increased continental demand for propane,” said Cynthia Des Brisay, vice-president of energy supply and resource development. “Furthermore, prior to the start of the cold weather, increased propane demand by farmers for crop drying lowered inventories going into the winter. The combination of these factors has led to extremely high propane prices.”
In a statement, Fortis said propane prices are also more directly influenced by global oil markets than natural gas.
“In recent years, natural gas prices have trended much lower relative to propane due to increased supply availability resulting from advancements in production technology,” the statement explained. “However propane prices have remained more closely connected to oil prices and have experienced much tighter markets due to increased demand and less infrastructure connecting supply to market. This has increased the premium paid for propane over natural gas prices.”
Revelstoke is an anomaly amongst communities in B.C. that are typically supplied with natural gas; for its gas supply, Revelstoke relies on propane that is shipped into large holding tanks.
Looking for energy alternatives?
For those interested in energy alternatives, the North Columbia Environmental Society will be hosting an alternative energy system presentation at the Revelstoke Community Centre on Mar. 20. The presentation features speakers Corenelius Suchy and Dave Aubrey and promises an overview of alternative energy sources. It starts at 7 p.m.