FortisBC announces the
purchase of Stargas Utilities Inc.

Today FortisBC and Stargas Utilities, the utility that has supplied natural gas to Silver Star for the last 21 years, announced that FortisBC will be purchasing Stargas. This announcement comes in the middle of ongoing Stargas proceedings at the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) for the review of both the Delivery Rate and the Commodity Rate.

This is welcome news according to SSPOA President, Mike Waberski. “Silver Star ratepayers have always been at a disadvantage on our rates due to the seasonality of our demand and how that affects the rates charged under the Fortis 25 Tariff that Stargas must pay to bring natural gas as to our resort. To be in the FortisBC tent brings equity to rates charged in Vernon and surrounding areas and offers all of the FortisBC benefits and incentives as well.”

There are several issues that are outstanding in the BCUC proceedings but FortisBC and Stargas will be addressing them jointly.  The SSPOA who is the registered intervenor, will continue to ensure that ratepayer’s interests are addressed. The SSPOA first intervened in late October 2016 when Stargas applied to vary their Delivery Rate. This was the first time in 17 years that there had been any sustained opposition to the rates charged by Stargas. Stargas was initially offering a $0.45 / GJ reduction which they revised to only $0.30/ G.J. The proceeding lasted until April 2017 when the BCUC ordered a $1.61/ GJ decrease.

The SSPOA also asked Stargas to amortize the installation costs so that Silver Star could enjoy the same $25.00 fee that FortisBC customers had as opposed to the $1,700 that Stargas was charging. That proceeding lasted from July 2017 to November 2017.

The 12 months spent  as intervenors in 2016-2017 was an educational experience on natural gas rate making that showed when a community comes together change can be accomplished. This change in 2020 with FortisBC acquiring Stargas is even more satisfying” according to the SSPOA Utility Services Committee. The present BCUC proceedings will be affected by this announcement with several rate riders to be decided, but as a comparison the FortisBC rate is 32% less than the proposed rates presently before the BCUC.

STARGAS EXISTING RATE

STARGAS PROPOSED RATE

FORTISBC RATE

DELIVERY RATE / GJ   $5.77   $4.59    $4.596
COMMODITY RATE / GJ   $3.98   $7.87   $3.863
TOTAL per Gigajoule   $9.75   $12.46   $8.46

You can follow the Rate Proceedings by visiting the BCUC websites:

For the Delivery Rate
https://www.bcuc.com/ApplicationView.aspx?ApplicationId=814
For the Commodity Rate
https://www.bcuc.com/ApplicationView.aspx?ApplicationId=815

Finally, thank you for supporting this effort through your membership of the SSPOA. Your membership dues are very modest but the benefits, as highlighted here, can be considerable. We would encourage you to share this news with your neighbours who may not be members and encourage them to join the SSPOA.

To read the full news release by FortisBC, click on the following link:
https://www.fortisbc.com/news-events/media-centre-details//2020/12/16/fortisbc-entering-into-a-purchase-agreement-with-stargas-utilities

The Utility Services Committee
Silver Star Property Owners Association

StarGas Sells To FortisBC!