Ontario’s seemingly never-ending winter is finally showing some signs of letting up. This winter was exceptionally harsh and issued more than its fair share of frigid weather. In fact, it was the coldest Ontario winter in decades.
Apart from forcing us all indoors more often, this spate of cold weather has also impacted the price of natural gas. Naturally, the colder it has been outside, the more we’ve relied on the natural gas storage, transmission and distribution system to keep our homes and businesses warm on the inside.
As the market for natural gas fluctuates, and utilities purchase natural gas to meet our demands, adjustments to Ontarians’ bills occur quarterly. To put things in context, and despite this latest increase in rates, natural gas is still 50 per cent cheaper than it was in 2006 — about half the cost of oil and electricity for a typical Ontario residential customer (based on southwestern Ontario approved 2014 rates).
– In 2013, average residential customers saved about $500, commercial customers saved $4,000, and industrial customers saved $1.8 million, compared to 2008.
Forecasts show that despite fluctuations, prices are expected to remain low and affordable for decades to come.
Moreover, due to discoveries of massive new supplies of natural gas in North America, combined with new technologies to aid in getting those supplies to market, the prospect for natural gas is as bright as it has ever been.
*Ontario Natural Gas rates are regulated and approved by the Ontario Energy Board. For more information, please go to: http://www.ontarioenergyboard.ca/OEB/Consumers/Natural+Gas/Natural+Gas+Rates
Despite a weather-related rise in rates, natural gas remains the most affordable option vs. other energy sources (Source: Union Gas)