|Co-op Fixed Charge (per month)||$29.50|
|Facility Upgrade Surcharge (per month)||$10.00|
|Gas Charge (Includes $1.83/GJ Co-op variable charge)||Variable Charge + Monthly Wholesale Gas Rate|
|Federal Fuel Charge||Payable to the Government of Canada as part of the Climate Change Action Plan|
Cochrane Lake Gas Co-op Bill Information
The costs of delivery incurred by Cochrane Lake Gas Co-op for its customer care and natural gas distribution services are recovered through two surcharges; the “Fixed Charge” and “Variable Charge”, and must be recovered to ensure natural gas is available when you need it.
The Fixed Charge is designed to recover the costs that do not vary with consumption of gas, including administration, design/installation of pipelines and meters, etc. This amount is charged per month.
The Gas Charge is set monthly, and is based on the wholesale cost of gas each month. This varies based on market conditions. The Gas Charge is charged per GJ of gas consumed, and includes the Co-op Variable Charge of $1.83/GJ which is designed to recover the costs that vary with the consumption of gas. These are principally related to capital and operating costs, including labour, materials, and supplies. The Co-op Variable Charge plus the wholesale rate of natural gas combined equals the Gas Charge seen on your monthly utility bill.
Your gas costs are based on the amount of energy you use, measured in gigajoules (GJ). Usage however is measured by volume in cubic feet. This gas volume measurement needs to be multiplied by a conversion factor to give us the energy used in gigajoules (GJ).
The energy or heat content of natural gas varies because natural gas has minor variations in the amount and types of energy gases (methane, ethane, propane, butane) it contains: the more combustible gases in the natural gas, the higher the GJ value.
Facility Upgrade Surcharge
The facility upgrade surcharge was implemented effective August 1, 2023 to provide revenue to pay for a portion of the new office and warehouse facility on Cook Road. A portion of the new facility is paid for using capital reserves, and the balance is paid for through borrowing. The facility upgrade surcharge pays for the cost of borrowing. All funds collected are applied directly against the cost of borrowing. The facility upgrade surcharge is not permanent, however will be in place for the duration of financing, which will be determined in 2024, but will likely be for a term of 20 – 25 years.
As membership growth occurs in the future, the rate will be adjusted to accommodate for this added future revenue, decreasing the facility upgrade surcharge accordingly.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact Brad Mason, General Manager at email@example.com
Natural Gas Supply
Gas Alberta Inc. is a member owned, exclusive supplier to 74 gas distribution utilities in Alberta, and are unlike traditional gas suppliers in that its customers are the shareholders and they return any gains we generate back to our customers. Cochrane Lake Gas Co-op is one of Gas Alberta’s members. Our customers are located in low density, high-cost rural areas, however are provided with gas rates that are competitive with the larger, investor-owned utilities that operate in more densely populated urban areas.
Gas Alberta Inc. purchases natural gas supplies on behalf of its utility customers and maintains a diversified gas supply portfolio, including daily and monthly indexed supplies and direct purchases from producers. The Company also carries out a prudent hedging program to minimize price volatility and lower its gas costs. Gas Alberta sets monthly pooled gas rates to recover its total cost of natural gas. For more information regarding Gas Alberta Inc., including the gas market and gas rates in Alberta, check out their website at www.gasalberta.com
Fixed vs. Variable Rates
According to data provided by Gas Alberta, fixed prices are rarely the most economical option over time. History has shown that Gas Alberta’s natural gas rates have been significantly lower that fixed price options in the long term.
Although current and forecast rates indicate that fixed prices may be more competitive than market rates in the short term, natural gas consumers are generally better off by remaining with market prices in the long run. Since November 2018, the average rural end-use consumer has saved approximately $1,200 through Gas Alberta’s rates compared to the average of fixe rate options over the same period.
Cochrane Lake Gas Co-op does not offer fixed rates as a not-for-profit entity where all members share equally both the risks and costs of providing natural gas service to a rural area.