Editorial: Gas hike causing inequity in northwest B.C.

Normally if you buy less, you spend less, but when it comes to natural gas in northwestern B.C. its buy less, spend more.

Natural gas costs cause structural inequity in society

Normally it works like this – buy less, spend less. But when it comes to natural gas for heating in northwestern B.C. it is buy less, spend more.

That’s the reason  for the region’s double-digit natural gas hikes as of Jan. 1. Because last year was warmer than forecast and Pacific Northern Gas (PNG) delivered less gas as a result, its revenues to pay the ongoing costs of its natural gas line suffered.

So now the B.C. Utilities Commission has permitted the utility to raise its delivery rates to make up for last year’s shortfall.

It represents yet another blow to northern natural gas consumers. Thanks to the disappearance of industrial natural gas users and the delivery fees they once paid to PNG, residential and small commercial users already pay the highest delivery fees in B.C. The result is a structural inequity which needs to be addressed given that natural gas heat is a necessity and not a luxury.

The provincial government could address this by increasing the homeowner grant in northwestern B.C. to at least partially buffer heating costs.

Such a move is not without precedent given the province’s continuing obsession with high residential house prices in the Lower Mainland, and the measures it has taken to deal with them.

There are a lot more votes down there than up here but that’s not a reason to ignore the real impact of heating costs in northwestern B.C.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Conservation officers kill black bear near Terrace

Bear was getting into garbage in town, not afraid of humans

Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine achieved carbon neutrality in 2019

The district reported net negative greenhouse gas emissions

Terrace Youth Soccer Association kicks off 2020 season

TYSA using a four phase approach starting with individual training

Surgeries in Northern Health area returning to pre-pandemic levels

Backlog of surgeries in area could take two years to clear

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Facing changes together: your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

VIDEO: Prince William and Kate chat with B.C. hospital staff about COVID-19

Seven-minute video posted to Youtube on Canada Day

River centre says heavy rains could bring flooding to central, northeastern B.C.

Water levels are already unusually high and river banks can be extremely unstable

Most Read