Killam News

Natural Gas & Your Utility Billing

2023-01-06 16:13:28

The Killam Town Office has had a number of calls over the last few days regarding the December utility bills that have recently been mailed.  Here is the answer to some of the questions that we have responded to.

Q. Can we (as a Resident or Business in Killam) use another natural gas supplier?

A.  Both Killam and Sedgewick are owners of the natural gas pipelines within each of the town's limits - making these lines a "private" system. SKNGS (Sedgewick Killam Natural Gas System) was created and established in 1965. The natural gas we use is supplied by GasAlberta Inc, and the cost per GJ is set by them monthly. More information about GasAlberta can be found in the following link: GasAlberta Inc  An advantage to having a private system is that there are no additonal administration, distribution, franchise costs or line fees added to your bill for the natural gas used.  

Q. Can we have the option to "lock In" the cost of our natural gas supply per GJ for a 2, 3 or 5 year term?

A.  The natural gas system within Killam and Sedgewick is small compared to the customer base that larger centres have, Killam averaging approximately 450 - 500 sites that gas is supplied to. In additon, 85% of these sites are Residential - or housing.  This being said, the gas system simply isn't large enough to provide the "cushion" that would be required to carry the change (or fluxuations), in the cost of gas that SKNGS is purchasing.  Currently, the Towns are only charging the GJ cost of the gas used,  a distribution charge of $1.35 / GJ, and a $25 per month Service Charge. We must then charge the Federal Fuel Tax and GST.

Q. Why does the natural gas portion of my utility bill seem so much higher for December?

At $6.14/GJ, natural gas prices for December were not the highest they have been in 2022. In June the price was actually $8.14/GJ! Unfortunately, we had some of the coldest temperatures for a longer than average amount of time during December, which made the cost of heating your home or business very evident. In addition, with the increased use of natural gas GJs because of colder temperatures, there is also increased charge that reflects in the Federeal Fuel Charge and the GST that we must charge by regulation. 

Don't be fooled into believing that companies offering a lower rate of GJ unit cost, means that your bill would be lower with them. A majority of these companies include additional administration, distribution, enrollment, franchise and/or rider fees. There is some very valuable information available on the web regarding natural gas company options.  The Utility Consumer Advocate can provide you with an idea of some of the plans that are offered in some areas.  Using this as an example, compare to the rates you are paying with the Town of Killam, even using the December billing as your guide.  You will see that Killam's natural gas prices are still very competative - with even some of the long term, locked in options that are out there.

 

 

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