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Market Snapshot: What is in your residential natural gas bill?

Release date: 2018-07-26

On an average residential natural gas bill in Canada, less than half the cost is for natural gas itself. Other charges on the bill cover the costs of pipeline infrastructure needed to deliver the gas to homes and administration. In some provinces, a price for carbon is also included on the bill.

The breakdown of an average residential gas bill in several provinces is shown in the graph below. For more information, including the differences between fixed and variable charges, please see the NEB’s latest report: What is in a Canadian residential natural gas bill? The graph below is based on an average household consumption of 7.37 GJ per month.

Source and Description

Source: NEB

Description: This column chart displays the average bill in January 2018 for 7.37 GJ of consumption. The averages for each province are the following:

In BC: commodity price $11, carbon charge $11, variable charges $38, fixed charges $12

In AB: commodity price $14, carbon charge $11, variable charges $13, fixed charges $32

In SK: commodity price $27, variable charges $18, fixed charges $23

In MB: commodity price $16, variable charges $60, fixed charges $14

In ON: commodity price $21, carbon charge $7, variable charges $34, fixed charges $20

In QC: commodity price $24, carbon charge $7, variable charges $73, fixed charges $33

In NB: commodity price $66, variable charges $72, fixed charges $18

In NS: commodity price $69, variable charges $64, fixed charges $22

Western Canadian provinces and Ontario have the lowest average residential gas bills in Canada. These provinces have access to large amounts of low cost natural gas production through well-developed gas pipeline systems.

New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec have higher average residential gas bills. Few homes in these provinces use natural gas for heating. Quebec produces a large amount of low cost hydroelectricity, reducing the need for natural gas. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick gas supply tends to be relatively expensive. This is partly because these provinces have relied on offshore gas production, and there is less developed pipeline infrastructure connecting Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to North American markets.

Natural gas is not generally used residentially in Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon, Nunavut, and most of the Northwest Territories. Homes in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador use a mix of heating oil, electricity, and wood for heating. Homes in Yukon, most of the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut rely mostly on heating oil, or may use a mix of wood, electricity, and propane. The exception is the town of Inuvik in the Northwest Territories, where some homes are heated using gas partly supplied by a local gas well.

 

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