Mixed responses to proposed propane subsidy in Revelstoke

FortisBC is proposing an amalgamation of propane and natural gas rates

There have been several mixed responses to the proposed propane subsidy in Revelstoke according to B.C. Utilities Commission’s website.

FortisBC is proposing an amalgamation of propane and natural gas rates.

Revelstoke operates as a satellite off-grid distribution system where propane is brought in via rail or truck, stored and distributed as needed. Fortis has 1,500 customers in Revelstoke and claims that implementing a subsidy would reduce their customers’ annual propane bill.

A propane leak last month caused the power to be turned off in Revelstoke so emergency crews and Fortis BC could make the necessary repairs. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Fortis estimates, should the system be changed, Revelstoke residential customers would see yearly savings averaging $407, $2,100 for small businesses and $48,200 for large commercial users.

READ MORE: FortisBC proposing rate subsidy for Revelstoke propane users

In August, Cornelius Suchy, CEO at Canadian Biomass Energy Research Ltd., presented to Revelstoke city council that the proposed subsidy will have detrimental effects on alternative energy forms. He also said that he believes subsidizing the use of fossil fuels in times of climate crisis is not the right move and requested the city opposes Fortis’ plans.

This “would counter the government’s efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases,” said Suchy in his written response to B.C. Utilities Commission.

Another letter to the commission is from Peter Humphreys at Big Eddy Fuel Services Ltd., who has delivered heating oil for over 20 years in Revelstoke. He said lower propane rates “will result in the elimination of heating oil as an economically viable heat source.”

He would like FortisBC to compensate Big Eddy Fuel Services Ltd., either directly or through purchasing the company. Humphrey also asked FortisBC to consider extending gas services to customers on Mt. Begbie Rd., to eliminate the last pocket of developed areas without service.

Revelstoke mayor Gary Sulz also wrote a letter, saying the proposed rate change could negatively impact the Revelstoke Community Energy Corporation. In a later interview with Black Press, Sulz said part of the reason for intervening was to be included in the conversation and get a seat at the table. Sulz furthered, he supports the rate change for Revelstokians.

Angus Woodman, plant manager of Downie Timber, also contacted the commission, saying “we are very supportive of Fortis’ application to treat our company and employees equitably to all other citizens in British Columbia.”

Downie Timber is the largest employer in Revelstoke, directly employing 350 people. Woodman said in his letter that the cost of living in Revelstoke is steadily increasing, therefore “anything that can be done to reduce the cost of living in Revelstoke is welcomed.”

Susan Black, a senior on a fixed income in Revelstoke wrote to the commission that she’s “surprised and thrilled” about the proposal.

“What a fantastic idea.”

Another letter was from J. Grainger Wilson in Revelstoke. Wilson wrote that, since B.C. Hydro inundated the Columbia River valley to generate electricity for the rest of the province, Revelstoke ought to “pay for gas what everyone else does.”

In July, natural gas for residential properties was $7.36 per GJ, compared with $13.79 GJ for propane.

B.C. Utilities Commission should make a decision sometime next year.

While other letters have been sent to the commission, this article highlights those from Revelstoke residents.

The commission’s application can be viewed here.


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rockets’ winning streak goes cold with loss to Ice

Kelowna lost 3-1 to the Winnipeg Ice Wednesday, conclude road-trip this weekend

District of Lake Country proposes 6.03 per cent tax hike for 2020

Lake Country residents may be in for a significant tax increase for… Continue reading

Okanagan Water Board opens floodgates with call for grant applications

Water Conservation and Quality Improvement program open from Armstrong to Osoyoos

Kelowna Owls juniors hold onto No. 1 ranking in province

The junior girls basketball team finished 1st place at the Victoria Christmas Tournament

New juicery set to grow in Kelowna

Local Pressery will launch Dec. 22

B.C. plane crash victim identified; witnesses describe ‘explosion’

He was a flight instructor, charter pilot and owned an airstrip before leaving Alberta

More rowers come forward with complaints about coach, criticism of UVic

Barney Williams is accused of verbal abuse and harassment

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

Disturbing find: Shuswap family seeking Christmas tree locates several animal carcasses

Black bear, a coyote and five deer found dumped in gravel pit west of Salmon Arm

RCMP uncover meth in arrest of Sicamous woman linked to alleged pellet gun shooting

Police say methamphetamine and other drugs found in car driven by suspect

Pawsative Pups: Help your dog love their crate

Lisa Davies is a new columnist for Black Press who writes about dog training

Spark Joy: The art of giving and receiving

Barb and Wendy at Simply Spark Joy help you to create a clutter free home on the Black Press Media

Coldstream surf shop welcomes winter with paddle

Winter Chill event Saturday, Dec. 21, on Kal Lake is ‘food’-raiser for food bank

Most Read