Frequently Asked Questions about November 2019 Rates

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has approved changes to the rates Enbridge Gas Inc. charges its customers effective Apr.1, 2019. These new rates will be charged beginning Nov.1, 2019. Please visit myaccount business rates to view the rates specific to your area.

Are my rates changing?

Yes. On Nov.1, Enbridge Gas changed the rates our customers pay. Rate changes include:

Rate M2

Rate 10

  • Annual distribution rate changes for storage, delivery and the monthly charge
  • Small increase in gas commodity rate, and
  • Price adjustments from prior periods.
  • Annual distribution rate changes for storage, delivery, and the monthly charge,
  • Small increase in gas commodity and transportation rates, and
  • Price adjustments from prior periods.

The new rates incorporate applicable temporary credits that don’t affect the annual impacts listed on your rate notice included with your bill.

Enbridge Gas buys natural gas and gas transportation services for our customers from the market and we pass these costs to you without mark-up. Storage and delivery rates are reviewed and approved by the OEB, which conducts an open review process with participation from consumer groups and Ontario municipalities.

How long will these rates remain in effect?

These rates are in effect through Dec. 31, 2019. Rates for natural gas used, transportation and storage services are adjusted once every three months (Jan. 1, April 1, July 1 and Oct. 1) to reflect ongoing changes in market prices. Annual distribution rate changes were recently approved by the OEB, effective Apr. 1 through Dec. 31, 2019 with implementation beginning Nov. 1, 2019.

Please visit myaccount business rates page to view the rates specific to your area.

What makes up the charges on my bill?

Gas costs - Gas commodity costs include information on the "Gas used" and "Gas price adjustment" lines on your bill. The net natural gas rate reflects what we expect to pay for gas supplies during the next year, as well as an adjustment to make up the difference between our forecast cost of gas and actual costs from prior periods. Also, in the Union South zone, the cost of transportation to Ontario is included in the "Gas used" charge and therefore there is no longer a separate Transportation line item on customer bills.

Transportation costs - Transportation costs include information on the "Transportation" and "Transportation price adjustment" lines on your bill. Natural gas is transported into Ontario from a variety of locations across North America using different pipelines for delivery across the province, so your transportation costs vary and depend on where you are located in the province. For customers in the Union South zone, the transportation cost is included in the "Gas used" line on your bill.

Delivery costs - Delivery costs include the information on the "Delivery" and "Delivery price adjustment" lines on your bill and reflect the cost of delivering natural gas to your business as well as an adjustment to make up the difference between our forecast and actual delivery rates from prior periods.

Storage costs - Storage costs include the information on the "Storage" and "Storage price adjustment" lines on your bill and reflect the cost of storing natural gas so it is available when you need it.

Monthly Charge - The fixed monthly charge partially covers the cost of maintaining a safe and reliable natural gas distribution system. It includes things like meter reading, customer services and 24-hour emergency response.

Federal Carbon Charge - The federal carbon charge is 3.9100 cents per m3. This charge will increase annually each April. All of the money collected for this charge goes to the federal government.

Why is Enbridge Gas changing distribution rates?

Enbridge Gas adjusts distribution rates each year to reflect the expected costs to safely and reliably deliver natural gas to our customers. This adjustment includes:

  • An annual increase for inflation (factor based on Statistics Canada) that is reduced by a stretch/productivity expectation for the company,
  • Increases for the pass-through of certain costs such as infrastructure projects required to ensure safe and reliable service to customers and previously approved energy-efficiency programs for customers, and
  • Adjustments to reflect changes in the amount of natural gas the average customer uses.

When will these delivery rates go into effect?

The delivery rate changes are effective Apr. 1, 2019 through Dec. 31, 2019. Implementation of the changes is scheduled for Nov. 1, 2019.

Does this mean you are charging customers for this change retroactively back to Apr. 1, 2019?

Customers will see a bill adjustment on their November and December bills to capture the difference between the interim and final rates for the period between Apr. 1, 2019 and Oct. 31, 2019.

Why didn’t you implement this change in January?

The timing was delayed as Enbridge and the Ontario Energy Board worked through the regulatory approval process to amalgamate Enbridge Gas Distribution (EGD) and Union Gas to form Enbridge Gas in 2019.

Why do customer rates differ by location?

The costs to build and maintain a distribution pipeline system varies by geographic location for several reasons including soil conditions (e.g. rockier soil in the North), population density and the distance between homes/businesses, and the need and timing of infrastructure expansions and maintenance. These cost differences are reflected in the geographically based rate zones.

How were the concerns of the public taken into account regarding delivery rate changes?

Annual delivery rate changes are reviewed by the Ontario Energy Board, which conducts an open public review process. To access any documents related to this case visit the OEB's website.

Didn’t you just announce a reduction in rates in October?

Yes, customers will see two rate changes. In October the rates Enbridge Gas customers pay for natural gas and transportation decreased. These rates are adjusted every three months to reflect changes in the market price of those items, which we buy on behalf of our customers and pass through without mark-up.

In November, the rates our customers pay Enbridge Gas to store and deliver natural gas to homes and businesses in 2019 increased. These rates are adjusted once a year. Combined, these two charges mean that on average, natural gas bills are expected to be lower than a year ago. The actual change will vary depending on how much natural gas you use.

What’s the impact of this rate change on business customers in the Union South zone (Rate M2)?

The combined impact of these changes for business customers in southern Ontario is a decrease of about $33 per year.

What’s the impact of this rate change on business customers in the Union North East and Union North West zones (Rate 10)?

The combined impact of these changes for business customers in the Union North East zone is an increase of about $324 a year, and an increase in the Union North West zone of about $368 per year.

How often does Enbridge Gas change its rates?

You'll see two general 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. This is shown as a change in the gas commodity and transportation rates on your bill and may also appear as a small change in delivery rates as Enbridge Gas also uses natural gas to power our delivery system. These changes, which are passed through to you without mark-up, 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. On your bill, this may appear as a change in the delivery and storage rates or the monthly charge.

All rate changes are approved by the OEB.

What are price adjustments?

Price adjustments refund or collect the difference between our forecast costs and actual costs from prior periods. The price Enbridge Gas charges you for natural gas is based on a forecast of what the market price of gas will be during the next 12 months. This forecast is updated and approved by the OEB every three months to reflect changes in the market price of gas. Enbridge Gas does not earn a profit on the sale of gas, so we track the difference between the price we charge for gas based on this forecast and the actual cost for gas we purchase during the same period. When forecast costs differ from actual costs, Enbridge Gas applies a price adjustment to refund or collect the difference. This way, we can ensure that customers pay for the actual cost of gas, and not a penny more.

I noticed the same line twice on my bill. Am I being billed twice?

No, the billing period doesn't begin and end on the first and last days of each month but covers a period somewhere mid-month to mid-month. Consumption for the period prior to a rate change is billed at the old rate and consumption after a rate change is billed at the new rate. The number of days at each rate depends on the monthly cycle in which your account is billed.

How does this rate change impact customers who buy natural gas from an energy marketer?

If customers buy natural gas from an energy marketer, the price paid for gas supplies depends on the terms of the contract and is excluded from this rate change. For other services purchased from Enbridge Gas (natural gas transportation, storage and delivery) business customers will see overall changes in the cost of the services they purchase from Enbridge Gas ranging from a decrease of about $35 in the Union South zone, an increase of about $365 in the Union North West zone, and an increase of about $321 in the Union North East zone.

I heard that Union Gas and Enbridge Gas Distribution have amalgamated, and I notice that my bill now has the name Enbridge Gas Inc. What does that mean for me?

On Jan. 1, 2019, Union Gas and Enbridge Gas Distribution amalgamated into one utility, with the legal name Enbridge Gas Inc. For now, it is business as usual with no changes to the services you receive from your current utility. Please continue to interact with Union Gas as you have in the past; and our contact and emergency numbers have not changed.

There are changes to the utility bill payment process for former Union Gas customers. The recipient/payee name has changed to Enbridge (Union Gas), when paying bills online. Payments made by cheque should be payable to Enbridge Gas. Visit uniongas.com/payments for more information about the new bill payment process for former Union Gas customers.

Do I need to make any change to who I pay?

If you pay online or through telephone banking, you will need to select "Enbridge (Union Gas)" as the payee and remove "Union Gas". You will need to re-enter your 14-digit account number when you do this so be sure to have your bill handy. The account number is on the top right-hand corner of the bill. Payments made by cheque should be payable to Enbridge Gas. Our address has not changed. Continue to remit your payments to the address on your bill.

I pay online though telephone banking and I didn’t update my payee name from Union Gas to Enbridge. Will my payment be applied to the right account?

A process is in place to ensure payments are directed to the correct payee if a payment is remitted using the former utility name. It is best to update your payee name as soon as possible.

I am on automatic withdrawal. Do I need to make any changes to my payments?

There are no changes required for payments made by automatic withdrawal. You will see our new name, "Enbridge Gas Inc." associated with your payments.

I heard that the federal government has implemented a carbon pricing program. How does that impact natural gas customers?

As part of the federal government's carbon pollution pricing program, a carbon charge now applies to fossil fuels sold in Ontario, including natural gas. The federal carbon charge for the natural gas you use is 3.91 cents per cubic metre (m3).

Enbridge Gas bills, collects, and remits the federal carbon change from customers for the natural gas they use, to the federal government (with the exception of facilities that hold an exemption certificate issued by the federal government). As of Aug. 1, 2019, the new carbon charge shows as a separate line on your bill.

As a regulated utility, the rates associated with this program have been reviewed and approved by the Ontario Energy Board.

Visit https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/climate-change/pricing-pollution-how-it-will-work/ontario.html for additional carbon pricing information.

Is natural gas my best energy value?

Natural gas is clearly the best energy choice for Ontario businesses. It costs much less to heat your facility and water with gas compared to using electricity or fuel oil. There are many other benefits to using gas beyond price including efficiency, versatility, reliability and abundance of domestic supply that makes natural gas your best energy choice. Read more about the many benefits of natural gas.

What can customers do to keep their natural gas costs manageable?

While customers can't control the weather, they can take additional steps to reduce their monthly bills.

Conservation is one of the best long-term ways to reduce energy costs. We understand that to stay competitive you need to closely monitor your ongoing energy use, invest in energy efficiency, and take advantage of valuable rebates and incentives. Visit the Save Money & Energy section to learn more.

When will I receive my customer connection charge refund?

We are reviewing the Ontario Energy Board's recent decision regarding changes made to the customer connection policy made in 2015, to determine our next steps. As you can appreciate, this was a complicated decision with many elements, and this may take some time. We will keep customers informed as to any new information.