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FortisBC to slash natural gas rates in 2018

Natural gas rates are going down in 2018. OJO Images / Rex Features

Good news if you cook or heat your home with natural gas: FortisBC is lowering rates.

The company says gas rates will drop on Jan. 1, while electricity rates for its customers in the Southern Interior will remain flat.

2018 marks the first year that gas customers across B.C. will pay the same rates, after the company completed phasing-in harmonized prices this year.

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Under the new province-wide rates, “the cost of natural gas will be at one of the lowest levels in the past decade,” said Fortis in a media release.

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Because of the harmonization, the rate drop will vary depending on where you live in B.C.

  • The Lower Mainland, Interior, the North and the Kootenays: six per cent or $45 per year
  • Vancouver Island: 15 per cent or $85 per year
  • Whistler: 23 per cent or $245 per year
  • Fort Nelson: two per cent or $20 per year

Gas rates aren’t the only change affecting British Columbians’ pocketbooks next year.

MSP premiums will be slashed in half starting in January, saving the average British Columbian $450 per year.

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Earlier this fall, the NDP government also pledged to stop a three per cent BC Hydro rate increase slated for next year, however the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) hasn’t yet signed off on the plan.

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Drivers, on the other hand, will be paying more in 2018. The NDP announced in September that ICBC’s basic rate will climb by 6.4 per cent next year.

Along with a hike in ICBC’s optional insurance rate, the government anticipates the average driver will be on the hook for about $130 more.

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