Frequently Asked Questions about the 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. They will remain in effect through Dec. 31, 2019 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 rates to view the rates specific to your area.

Are my rates changing?

Yes, rates are changing for all customers. The details include:

  • Annual distribution rate changes for storage, delivery, and the monthly charge
  • Minor increase for natural gas, and
  • Price adjustments from prior periods.

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" line item on customer bills.

For customers in the Union South zone, the net increase for gas supplies is about $0.06 a year. In the Union North West zone, there is a net annual increase of about $0.07 for gas supplies, and there is a net annual increase of about $0.08 in the Union North East zone. These small increases follow the larger decreases that became effective October 1, 2019.

Transportation costs - Transportation costs include all information on the "Transportation" 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.

For customers in the Union South zone, the transportation cost is included in the "Gas used" line on your bill. In the North West zone, the net transportation cost decreased by about $0.10 annually. In the North East zone, the net transportation cost increased by about $0.52 annually.

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.

For all residential customers in Ontario, there's an increase between about $1.58 and $5.99 cents a year in delivery costs; depending where you live, to safely and reliably deliver natural gas to your home or business.

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.

Storage costs decreased in the Union North West about $1.06 per year and in the Union North East about $2.86 a year. There is an increase of about $0.69 a year for customers in the Union South zone.

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 the money collected for this charge goes to the federal government.

Why is Enbridge Gas Inc. changing distribution rates?

The utility adjusts distribution rates each year to reflect the expected costs to safely and reliability deliver natural gas to homes and businesses. 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.

Based on this, residential customers will see delivery rate increases of less than $10 a year.

When will these delivery rates go into effect?

The delivery rate changes are effective from Apr. 1, 2019 through Dec. 31, 2019. Implementation occurs as of Nov. 1, 2019.

Does that 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 costs differ for different parts of the province?

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 and timing of infrastructure expansions and maintenance. These cost differences are reflected in the geographically based rate zones.

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

Annual delivery rate changes are reviewed by the Ontario Energy Board, which conducts an open public review process. To access any document 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 these 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 changes 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.

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 change 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 payment process for former Union Gas customers. The recipient/payee name has changed to Enbridge Gas (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 Union Gas customers.

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

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 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 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.

Who do I contact if I have questions about my bill/account?

As of Jan. 1, 2019, Union Gas and Enbridge Gas Distribution amalgamated into one utility called Enbridge Gas Inc. For now, there is no change to the services you receive from your previous utility or your utility account. Please continue to interact with Union Gas as you have in the past and our contact and emergency numbers have not changed.

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. For other services purchased from Enbridge Gas - natural gas transportation, storage and delivery - residential customers will see overall increases of between about $2.00 and $9.00 a year depending on 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.

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. The federal carbon charge for the natural gas you use is 3.91 cents per cubic metre (m3). Enbridge Gas now bills, collects and remits a federal carbon charge for the natural gas customers use (with the exception of facilities that hold an exemption certificate issued by the federal government). As of Aug. 1, 2019, the new charge is shown as a separate line on your bill. Your total cost will depend on how much natural gas you use. For the average Ontario household, it will add about $86-$94 to your annual natural gas bill, depending on location.

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

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 uniongas.com/savemoney.

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 introduced in 2015, to determine our next steps. As you can appreciate, this is a complicated a decision with many elements, and this may take some time. We will keep customers informed as to any new information.