Direct Energy Regulated Services

Direct Energy Regulated Services

February 28, 2011 17:03 ET

Direct Energy Regulated Services Announces Natural Gas Rates for March

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Feb. 28, 2011) - Direct Energy Regulated Services has announced default natural gas rates for March 2011. These rates will apply to customers who have not chosen a competitive supplier within the ATCO Gas North and South service territories. The rates have been verified by the Alberta Utilities Commission.

North Service Territory

The North territory includes customers living in and north of the City of Red Deer.

  • For customers in the ATCO Gas North service territory, the March regulated natural gas rate is decreasing from the February rate of $3.850 per GJ to $3.080 per GJ. 

  • This rate reflects a market price for March supplies of approximately $3.330 per GJ as reported by the NGX, and incorporates an adjustment of ($0.250) per GJ for February and prior months. 

  • The typical residential gas bill for March based on an average 15 GJ of consumption would be approximately $118 in the North.

South Service Territory

The South territory includes customers living south of the City of Red Deer.

  • For customers in the ATCO Gas South service territory, the March regulated natural gas rate is decreasing from the February rate of $4.211 per GJ to $3.071 per GJ.

  • This rate reflects a market price for March supplies of approximately $3.330 per GJ as reported by the NGX, and incorporates an adjustment of ($0.259) per GJ for February and prior months. 

  • The typical residential gas bill for March based on an average 15 GJ of consumption would be approximately $118 in the South.

Further information on regulated gas supply and a complete list of competitive retailers can be found on the Alberta government's customer choice website at: www.ucahelps.gov.ab.ca.

Backgrounder

In the North Service Territory, how will a typical bill this month compare to previous months based on 15 GJs?

  • March 2011, a typical residential bill will be $118

  • March 2010, a typical residential bill was $146

  • February 2011 (based on 17 GJ), a typical residential bill was $138

In the South Service Territory, how will a typical bill this month compare to previous months based on 15 GJs?

  • March 2011, a typical residential bill will be $118

  • March 2010, a typical residential bill was $137

  • February 2011 (based on 17 GJ), a typical residential bill was $147

How does this month's rate compare to previous months?

The graph below shows regulated natural gas rates each month for the past year.

To view the graph, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/directenergy228.pdf

How much natural gas does a typical residential customer use?

Natural gas consumption for a typical residential customer - GJ
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
20 17 15 9 6 4 3 3 5 10 15 19 126

How does this month's market price compare to last month?

The regulated rate is based in part on the current market view of natural gas prices for the month, as reported by NGX:

  • As of the time the rate application was filed, the market price for March was $3.330 per GJ.

  • The market price last month at the time of filing was $3.769 per GJ.

  • Last month's actual market price was approximately $3.550 per GJ.

Why are there adjustments this month?

The formula used to calculate the regulated rate accounts for any over-or under-recoveries of actual gas costs arising from differences in:

  • normal and actual weather, which affects the volume of natural gas consumed; and

  • forecast and actual market prices occurring in September and prior months.

Why do natural gas prices fluctuate?

Natural gas prices are set in an open and competitive market, and are influenced by many variables throughout North America and the world. These variables include supply and demand, production and exploration levels, storage injections and withdrawals, continental weather patterns, pricing and availability of competing energy sources, and market analysts' views of future trends in any of these or other variables. Natural gas prices in Alberta are not typically a function of localized weather.

Why are North and South regulated natural gas rates different?

DERS is required by the Alberta Utilities Commission to purchase natural gas for ATCO Gas' North and South systems separately. Each system has slightly different load, weather, and supply characteristics that result in a different mix of Monthly and Daily Index purchases.

For more information, please view the March 2011 regulated natural gas rate applications on DERS' website at www.directenergyregulatedservices.com.

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