Frequently Asked Questions about Rate Changes

January 1, 2020

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has approved changes to the rates Enbridge Gas Inc. charges its customers effective Jan. 1, 2020. These new rates remain in effect through Mar. 31, 2020 and incorporate applicable temporary charges and credits that don’t affect the annual impacts on your bill.

Note that temporary charges and credits are excluded from the annual impacts table on the back page of your rate notice and explains what may appear as discrepancies between the information in the paragraphs and the tables.

Please go to our Rates section to view the rates specific to you and the area where you live.

Are my rates changing?

Yes, rates are changing for all customers. Details for the most recent rate change include:

  • An increase in the price we expect to pay to buy natural gas supplies in the coming year.
  • An increase 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 the 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.

What are the different 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 and transportation services during the next year as well as any adjustments to make up the difference between our forecast cost for 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 to Union Gas" line item on customer bills.

Transportation costs - Transportation costs include all information on the "Transportation to Union Gas" and "Transportation price adjustment" lines on your bill and reflect the cost of transporting natural gas to Ontario from its North American sources.

Transportation costs vary depending on where you live due to changing fuel prices, pipeline tolls and available capacity on pipelines serving different parts of Ontario.

Delivery costs - Delivery costs include information on the "Delivery" and "Delivery price adjustment" lines on your bill and reflect the cost of delivering natural gas to your home or business through our safe and reliable distribution system.

Storage costs - Storage costs include information on the "Storage" and "Storage price adjustment" lines on your bill and reflect the cost of storing natural gas.

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

Why does Enbridge Gas Inc. change the rates customers pay for natural gas?

Enbridge Gas buys natural gas supplies from the market and we pay other pipelines 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 on to our customers without mark-up. In addition, there are 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.

Why do costs differ for different parts of the province?

Different areas of the province are served by a different mix of natural gas transportation pipelines and gas supply sources, and as such, the cost to purchase gas supplies and the services to transport the supplies into our distribution system in Ontario from the market for our customers, varies by location.

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.

Now that Union Gas and Enbridge Gas Distribution have amalgamated, do I need to make any change to who or how 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. Please continue to remit your payments to the address on your bill.

All customers will see "Enbridge Gas Inc." associated with their payments.

Visit our pay your bill page for more information about the new bill payment process.

I pay online or through telephone banking and I didn’t update my payee name from Union Gas to Enbridge (Union Gas). 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 account number 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.

How will this rate change impact equal billing customers?

Equal billing payments are set each year in September based on a forecast of the amount of natural gas you would use in a year, and where natural gas prices are expected to be during the year. Periodically throughout the year, we review your equal billing account to determine if the payment is set at the right level. If it is not, we adjust it up or down based on the more current information, which includes your actual gas use and all rate changes. A final true up between what was paid, and the actual cost occurs each August.

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

If you buy natural gas and/or transportation services from an energy marketer, the price you pay for your gas supplies depends on the terms of the contract and is excluded from this rate change. If you have questions about their charges, please contact them directly at the number found on your bill. For other services purchased from Enbridge Gas (natural gas transportation, storage and delivery), residential customers rate changes depending on your location.

What are price adjustments?

The rates we charge customers for natural gas and gas transportation services are based on a forecast of the prices we expect to pay to buy these items from the market. The actual market costs can differ from our forecasts and adjustments are made quarterly (Jan. 1, April 1, July 1 and Oct. 1) to either refund or collect the difference so that you only pay the actual costs for these services and nothing more. These costs are passed on to customers without any mark-up.

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. Natural gas consumption for the period prior to a rate change is billed at the old rate and gas consumption after a rate change is billed at the new rate. The number of days at each rate depends on the monthly billing cycle of your account.

What is the federal carbon charge on my bill?

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 current federal carbon charge for the natural gas you use is 3.91 cents per cubic metre (m3), increasing annually each April. For the average Ontario household, it will add about $86-$94 to your annual natural gas bill, depending on location.

There is also a facility carbon charge, which for residential customers ranges from $0 to $0.03 per month, included in the delivery or transportation charge on your bill. This charge is associated with the costs to operate Enbridge Gas's facilities.

All of the money that we collect for the federal carbon charge goes to the federal government. Learn more about the federal carbon pollution pricing program from the Government of Canada.

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

As colder weather approaches, customers can take additional steps to reduce their monthly bills.

Use energy efficiently. Reducing your natural gas use can help keep your bills lower. For example, reducing your hot water use by only running the dishwasher when it's full, doing laundry with cold water and taking shorter showers can help keep bills lower. Energy efficiency can also help you lower emissions and emission related costs.

Enbridge Gas provides a wide range of tools and education to give consumers and businesses the power to take control and manage their energy use and save money. For more information visit our save money & energy section.