PSE asks customers to continue to conserve following Canadian pipeline rupture
Whatcom County and Western Washington residents were asked to conserve natural gas and electricity in October after the Enbridge natural gas pipeline ruptured near Prince George, B.C., but the explosion could end up costing customers quite a bit more.
On Nov. 30, Cascade Natural Gas filed a request with the state’s Utilities and Transportation Commission that would allow it to increase the price of natural gas 17.2 percent beginning Jan. 1, Cascade spokesperson Mark Hanson told The Bellingham Herald in an email Thursday.
Average residential customers using 54 therms per month will see an approximate increase of $9.23 per month if the request is approved by the UTC, Hanson said.
“The cost of gas, which includes pipeline, reservation and storage costs, is up significantly from costs projected two months ago when we filed our annual Purchased Gas Adjustment,” Hanson told The Herald. “The reason for the increased cost is due to the operational constraints from the Enbridge incident and the impacts on natural gas supplies.
“The cost of gas is a straight pass through to customers; the company does not profit.”
The Canadian Press reported Monday that FortisBC, an electric power and gas distribution company in British Columbia, said it expects customers in metro Vancouver, B.C., and throughout the Interior to receive about a nine percent increase.
According to the Canadian Press story, the pipeline has been fixed and the maximum allowable operating pressure has been raised to 85 percent.