Yes, rates are changing for all customers. Details for the most recent rate change include:
- Increases in the prices we expect to pay to buy natural gas supplies and transportation services from the market in the coming year.
- A change 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.
- An increase in the customer charge which partially covers the cost of maintaining a safe and reliable natural gas distribution system.
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.
Gas costs - Gas commodity costs include information on the “Gas Supply Charge” 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 Enbridge” 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 to You” 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. This charge also includes a facility carbon charge associated with the operation of Enbridge Gas’ facilities to deliver natural gas to you.
Storage costs – Storage costs include information on the “Storage Charge” and “Storage Price Adjustment” lines on your bill and reflect the cost of storing natural gas.
Customer Charge – The customer 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 5.87 cents per cubic meter of natural gas. This charge increases annually each April. All of the money collected for this charge goes to the federal government. Visit uniongas.com/carboncharge for more information.
As part of the federal government's carbon pollution pricing program, a carbon charge applies to fossil fuels sold in Ontario, including natural gas. The current federal carbon charge for the natural gas you use is 5.87 cents per cubic metre (m3), increasing annually each April. For the average Ontario household, it will add about $129 to your annual natural gas bill, depending on location. There is also a facility carbon charge, which for the average residential customer will add about 19 cents annually, included in the delivery or transportation charge on your bill. This charge is associated with the costs to operate Enbridge Gas' 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.
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.
Different areas of the province are served by a different mix of natural gas transportation pipelines and gas supply sources, and as such, the costs for Enbridge Gas to buy gas supplies and transportation services from the market, vary by location. In addition, the costs to build and maintain a distribution pipeline system varies by the geographic location for several reasons including different soil conditions (e.g. rockier soil in the north), population density and the distance between homes/businesses and the need for and timing of infrastructure expansions and maintenance. These costs differences are reflected in the four geographically based rate zones.
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 charges or the customer charge.
All rate changes are approved by the OEB.
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.
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.
There are no changes required for payments made by automatic withdrawal. You will see our new name “Enbridge Gas Inc.” associated with your payments.
Equal monthly payment plan payments are set each year 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 annually in the last month of your plan.
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 customer rate changes depend on your location.
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.
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.
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 range of tools and education to give consumers and businesses the power to take control and manage their energy use. For more information visit: enbridgesmartsavings.com
If customers have concerns about paying their bill, support is available:
- Enhanced payment plans.
If more time is needed to pay a balance, customers can arrange to make installment payments against a balance and avoid late payment fees and disconnection.
- Equal Monthly Payment Plan (EMPP).
Customers can spread their yearly natural gas costs into monthly payments to avoid fluctuating bills with the seasons, making it easier on their budget.
- Low Income Energy Assistance Plan (LEAP).
Low-income customers having trouble paying their bill may qualify for emergency relief through LEAP. The program provides emergency relief with a one-time financial grant of up to $500 for eligible low-income customers. Customers can visit the United Way Simcoe Muskoka website for qualification information.
- Government Assistance.
The Ontario Energy Board has launched the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) to help customers pay down energy bill debt incurred since COVID 19 began.