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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Summerland approves solar project

Despite community opposition, council voted 4-3 for Cartwright Mountain location

Two positive COVID-19 cases at Oliver farm

The risk of exposure to the general public related to this farm is considered to be low

Oliver Town Hall closed to public as staffer shows COVID-19 symptoms

One staff member at Oliver Town Hall is being tested for coronavirus

Penticton woman struck by mystery bullet

Woman suffers no major injuries; RCMP without any leads, investigation continues

Village of Keremeos looks to dismantle systemic racism

Mayor says the time is right to deconstruct racist institutions

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Police search for suspect in assault on woman in downtown Kelowna

Kelowna police received a report a woman had been assaulted by an unknown man on July 12

‘Trauma equals addiction’ – why some seek solace in illicit substances

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Horoscopes for the week of July 13

Weekly horoscopes by Morgan Fava

Police keep eye on motorbike gang in Kelowna for poker run

The Throttle Lockers Motorcycle Club Poker Run was to have taken place on July 11

Prohibited driver ticketed after rollover on Highway 1 near Salmon Arm

Jeep Cherokee hit rock face before rolling multiple times

Most Read