Figure 10: Sample monthly residential gas bill – based on 7.37 GJ of consumption
A stacked area graph shows the breakdown of residential natural gas bills from January 2012 to January 2018. The sample bill is for 7.37 GJ of consumption per month in the province of Quebec. The graph shows the amount spent on four bill components: the carbon price charge, the commodity price, variable charges, and fixed charges.
The commodity price component decreased from $27.71 per month on January 2012, to $23.51 per month on January 2018.
The carbon price charge component was $1.52 per month in January 2012, and increased to $6.94 per month by January 2018.
Variable charges have remained fairly constant. These charges increased from $72.45 per month in January 2012 to $73.23 per month in January 2018.
Fixed charges increased slightly from $28.42 per month in January 2012 to $33.08 per month by January 2018.
Natural gas provider
Énergir, formerly known as Gaz Métro, is a regulated private utilities provider, and the largest local distribution company (LDC) and retailer in Quebec. The LDC is the company that owns and operates the distribution pipeline system. Although Énergir distributes 97% of the natural gas in Quebec, only 7% of Quebec households use natural gas in their primary heating system. This is partly because Quebec generates a large amount of relatively cheap hydroelectricity and many homes use electric heating systems.
The cost of ‘natural gas supplied’ is the commodity price of natural gas. This charge is approved monthly by the provincial energy regulator, Régie de l'énergie. The commodity price has decreased from $27.71 per month ($3.76 per GJ) in January 2012, to $23.51 per month ($3.19 per GJ) in January 2018.
The carbon price in Quebec appears on natural gas bills as the ‘cap-and-trade emission allowances service’. The money collected from this charge is used to pay for carbon allowances as part of the Quebec’s participation in the Western Climate Initiative cap-and-trade system. The carbon price component was $1.52 per month ($0.21 per GJ) in January 2012, and increased to $6.94 per month ($0.94 per GJ) by January 2018.
There are four variable charges on Énergir gas bills. Revenue collected from the ‘transportation’ charge goes towards the cost of transporting gas from markets to Énergir’s distribution system. The ‘Load-balancing’ charge collects money that pays for the cost to store natural gas in warmer months to ensure reliable supply in colder months. The ‘Inventory-related adjustments’ charge is for managing natural gas inventories in storage. Lastly, ‘price by volume billed’ pays for some of the distribution costs. Variable charges have remained fairly constant. These charges increased from $72.45 per month ($9.83 per GJ) in January 2012 to $73.23 per month ($9.94 per GJ) in January 2018.
The ‘basic fee’ collects revenue to pay for the costs of the distribution system and the cost of the gas meter. This fixed charge is paid for each gas meter. Fixed charges increased slightly from $28.42 per month in January 2012 to $33.08 per month by January 2018.
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