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Prepare for bill shock, Union Gas customers

Saturday, March 15, 2014   by: Rick McGee

Fallout from the long, cold winter of 2014 will likely mean a hard hit on Union Gas customers' pocketbooks.

Significantly higher bills could very well be a reality as early as next month.

Union Gas has applied to the Ontario Energy Board for rate increases that, if approved, would take effect as of April 1, 2014.

Customers should get ready for their bills to jump by about 20 percent.

“Residential customers in Northern and Eastern Ontario who buy gas from Union Gas [will] see an increase of about $16 a month, or $190 per year,” Union Gas spokesperson Carrie Dudley-Tatsu told SooToday.com Friday afternoon.

“That’s about a 20 percent total increase in their monthly gas bill.”

Dudley-Tatsu was describing the impact on a "typical" customer.

Proposed adjustments would, if approved, also see Southern Ontario residents absorbing monthly increases of $17, or about $200 for the next 12-month period.

Media coverage has also noted that Enbridge Gas Distribution wants to increase its price for natural gas by 40 percent.

According to CBC News, natural gas providers are seeking changes because cheaper supplies have been used up due to the harsh winter weather.

Providers must secure more expensive gas on the open market.

Union Gas says the increases it wants would boost residential customer costs to 20 cents per cubic metre.

That’s still well below the charge of around 27 cents per cubic metre in place 10 years ago.

Comments
48
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
saultbie25 3/15/2014 11:32:23 AM Report

Well obviously the government doesn't care about people.

Looks like a lot more people will be struggling with money. Higher costs of PUC, food, gasoline, nessesities of life,now higher cost in natural gas.

Way to make people poor!
cdnhunter 3/15/2014 11:34:52 AM Report

What they didn't make their 2 billion dollar profit. Give me a break Union Gas
scottstewy123 3/15/2014 11:39:40 AM Report

At night the wife and I turn down the heat at night.We put it down to 16. Can not sleep in the heat
jojoe71 3/15/2014 11:42:08 AM Report

Why was it so high ten years ago?
Alystr 3/15/2014 11:42:14 AM Report

Nothing like paying tons of money for NATURAL GAS. I guess they missed the part about natural. Damn thieves.
Prrrrrrr 3/15/2014 11:45:01 AM Report

Programmable thermostat...easy to install and easy to use.
Norm 3/15/2014 11:45:48 AM Report

Maybe it's time for a rebellion, some kind of marching like the gays do. Poor Canada. You couldn't get three people to march or complain about pretty much anything in our beautiful scenic country. Keep gouging.
salvagebucke 3/15/2014 11:53:26 AM Report

we can all become teachers police officers or any government job then we ll all get a guaranteed pay raise unlike the private sector who see no increases for years on end.
Kevin5069 3/15/2014 12:05:36 PM Report

Going to be a good bonus year for Union gas Exec's. I'll bet PUC will follow suit.
daddy c 3/15/2014 12:11:17 PM Report

It's highway robbery, but why not - the politicians do it all the time. Keep the poor and retired on a fixed income down.
thumbs4208 3/15/2014 12:14:21 PM Report

Salvagebuck - think again about that gov raise - idiot
Dead End Kid 3/15/2014 12:18:39 PM Report

You can bet your best gal that the CEO and the board of directors won't lose a nickel throughout it all. In fact they will likely make more.

stormy shores 3/15/2014 12:22:08 PM Report

I was supplied with Gas for many years but currently supplied by Algoma Power. We are all penalized for the necessity of heat. I have replaced all thermostats at 75.00 a piece, try to burn wood more often (that too is so expensive), extra thick duvets on beds ... etc. I really don't know what else to do other than pray for a speedy change in weather temperatures.
Legend01 3/15/2014 12:26:14 PM Report

How much is enough? When will the government get off their rear ends for the people in this province. PUC keeps hiking prices, now Union Gas is doing the same. We dont all make 4k clear every month. Buying a house was the stupidest thing I ever did. I should have stayed renting at least I was only subjected to a 4% increase per year. Ontario is a joke of a province
daddy frank 3/15/2014 12:41:03 PM Report

well what do u know
Union gas made a net profit of about 200 million dollars this past year and they have the nerve to raise prices! this is a country with a surplus of gas, oil and electricity and we are getting screwed by our government, because they let these corporate bandits do whatever they want.People have to speak up,call Mr. Hayes and (the most photographed MP Mr. Orazietti) and let them know this is highway robbery. WHO SAID JESSE JAMES IS DEAD.
daddy Frank
Big Deal 3/15/2014 12:44:33 PM Report

I thank God I don't have natural gas and I burn wood and I am on a well!!! These corporations are OUT OF CONTROL....all of them!!! PUC, GREAT LAKES, GAS PRICES, PROPERTY TAXES, and now UNION GAS!!! They are ALL criminals, including our government!!! When is the people of Canada going to say...."NO MORE" to our government and to these low life private corporations!!! It REALLY is a shame how they take advantage of the elder people on fixed incomes who worked their entire lives and lower income families!!! SHAME ON THEM ALL!!!
boilertyme 3/15/2014 12:57:59 PM Report

If your able, buy a small home, reduce taxes, install a wood burning appliance, turn off the lights, only leave your alarm clock plugged in so you can wake up early enough to stoke the fire and walk to work. Get a ride at lunch time to the soup kitchen, try to snag a couple extra sandwiches for supper, go home , stoke and load fire go to bed, repeat.
ThinkAgain 3/15/2014 1:00:23 PM Report

Executives need a bonus too, its tax season.

I have no idea how people of pension or ODS survive?
Sunnidelight 3/15/2014 1:17:25 PM Report

Maybe we should all apply to the board to receive refunds from the past three winters that were so mild. I didn't get mine, did any of you?
northerngentleman 3/15/2014 1:20:20 PM Report

20 cents per cubic metre, does that include delivery, storage, & transportation costs that are all shown extra on your bill?

I don't know how some seniors are going to survive with all these increases. I got a whopping 55 cent a month increase on my old age pension in January. We have to go after our legislators and say "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH"
kamen 3/15/2014 1:20:23 PM Report

The reason the prices are so high is because the polar vortex this year, they have used up almost all the reserves of gas that they purchased for the winter, and in doing so have to raise the price now. luckily winter is almost over and soon we won't need it. Next will be electricity cost hike, it's probably going to be a hot summer, and the grid is going to be overpowered with air conditioning units....by the way, this shouldn't come as a shock...it's been on the news for a few days now.
northernmale 3/15/2014 1:35:56 PM Report

Just my luck I had electric heat and hot water in my house. Switched everything to natural gas.Now its going up. Got my gas bill $170 for the month . My puc $333. So $500 a month .. Something is wrong. Time to sell, I am on pension can,t afford this. Maybe by a trailer plant it on a lot live in it for summer . Come Oct. head some place warm. Seasonal site for trailer $ 2,100. monthly fee for a place warmer in winter $1.700 .. See this being cheaper already.And have the money in bank from selling house.
quickcarl 3/15/2014 1:49:14 PM Report

it all boils down to greed...
Javaman 3/15/2014 2:09:23 PM Report

That 220 million Harper is giving the Ukraine could be applied to these rising costs. Charity begins at home Mr. Harper.
leamington 3/15/2014 2:20:10 PM Report

again...crime and corruption higher then ever, penalties lower than ever, police wear armour and the rest are deffenceless
Just Curious 3/15/2014 2:46:33 PM Report

Northernmale, I know several people who do exactly as you say, camp up here all summer and head for Florida or Texas or Arizona for the winter. Wasn't for my health problems I would have done the same..:)
goneracin45 3/15/2014 3:09:09 PM Report

Maybee they should get rid of there customer service charge of 21.00 a month...I called union gas about this charge and they said it was a charge just to be a cust....were I work if we did this we would be out of buisnes...just a thought
Zing 3/15/2014 3:21:00 PM Report

Union gas lost 4 million in 2013 in the last 4 months.

http://www.google.ca/finance?q=TSE:UNG-C&fstype=ii

impola 3/15/2014 3:23:23 PM Report

So they gave themselves another raise, so they can have more toys and we'll have to eat a the Soup Kitchen after we pay the gas bill.
Alystr 3/15/2014 3:52:20 PM Report

Any charts you see from these crooks are all fake and are there to make you believe they need to raise prices.
I'm In 3/15/2014 4:38:41 PM Report

salvagebucke where have you been, all public sector workers have been on wage freeze for over two years, the government, police, and teachers hire all time, my question to you is "ARE YOU QUALIFIED" if you are then apply for any one of those jobs. All middle class working people can't afford these nonsense cost of living price increases yearly.
Oh and salvagebucke ESSAR Steel laobourers make $30 an hour so don't knock public sector workers.
nailr 3/15/2014 4:50:55 PM Report

People will complain about the natural gas hike, but it is still the cheapest way to heat a residence by at least 50% over electricity. Hell, I've got "squat" on PUC(only lights,fridge,clothes washer) yet the electrical portion of the bill is still higher over 12 months than my gas bill(stove, dryer ,house furnace, garage furnace,hot water tank, two fireplaces, barbeque)So if you want to complain go to the right source...the Provincial Liberal government which controls the horrendous electrical rates in Ontario and which will increase at least 40% over the next 3-5 years
Karl 3/15/2014 5:54:27 PM Report

I feel like moving into the country. Dodge the high property tax in the city and burn wood for heat.
Longlake 3/15/2014 6:29:28 PM Report

Natural gas prices have been quite low for a while and people got used to it. Ask anyone who has to burn oil, or heat with electricity, or propane what their costs have been..
I burn wood as well, it's a lot of work but it's a warmer heat. However if people have to buy firewood cut/split/delivered the savings aren't high.
Pellet stoves are a good choice, consistent steady heat. A better choice for people who can't deal with the storage and handling of firewood. I predict they will become more popular as natural gas prices climb.
realitycheck 3/15/2014 6:50:01 PM Report

“Residential customers in Northern and Eastern Ontario who buy gas from Union Gas [will] see an increase of about $16 a month, or $190 per year,” Union Gas spokesperson Carrie Dudley-Tatsu told SooToday.com Friday afternoon.
“That’s about a 20 percent total increase in their monthly gas bill.”

This doesn't tell the full story. An increase of 20 percent for me will certainly mean more than the $190 mentioned. It will be more like $190 and I don't have a large home. Also, it would have been nice to have been told what the price per cubic metre is now compared to the 20 cents it is going to be. I am assuming it is about 16 cents.
chevy830 3/15/2014 6:57:41 PM Report

I have not seen anyone mention how about all the years they make record profits ? It is a business and should be run like one not to have many years (at least 10) of pure profit and have one bad year and expect the customer to have to pay for it? If all business were run like that we would have to pay more for everything??? That's why people are in business to reap the profits when times are good and expect the losses when things are not so good ????
black and grey 3/15/2014 8:43:11 PM Report

Don't you love this country? Simply impossible to get ahead.....just wait till interest rates sky rocket....Once again, just wave the big white flag in the air and take it on the chin!!! Pretty depressing I must say, and it wont get any easier. What a life.
wandering 3/15/2014 9:13:05 PM Report

my last hydro bill was 459 now this...how they expect us to live
gr84u 3/15/2014 11:03:26 PM Report

Time for everyone to call their MP and demand some intervention and a stop to the constant gouging by our utility supliers,city municipal taxes and insurance companies. They are all bleeding us to the point where a good majority of us can no longer even provide what should be the basic necessities for our children !!! When is enough enough for these people!!

When will we, the tax payers stand in unity and say to our elected officials, ENOUGH !!!
atoz 3/16/2014 1:03:32 AM Report

GR84U Ive have always wondered why we the people are so many and they being the ones calling shots so few, get. Away with well, anything. Change is needed.
Berty 3/16/2014 2:29:50 AM Report

It was our Mayor and council that approved PUC hikes of 50% over the next 5 years...bounce these clowns out of their seats next election...everyone should pay attention to a little bit of politics and vote...its your right!
bugalugs 3/16/2014 7:36:37 AM Report

We can do nothing alone, together we can change anything. Time to start protesting and standing together and saying no more! We can't afford it any longer! We are just surviving now and the resources belong to us, the people of Canada not governments! Doesn't matter if it's gas or electricity, both are out of control!
quickcarl 3/16/2014 8:08:50 AM Report

It seems that the only way to get ahead is to win a lottery!
quickcarl 3/16/2014 8:08:51 AM Report

It seems that the only way to get ahead is to win a lottery!
atoz 3/16/2014 9:04:56 AM Report

It would be nice to win the lottery, but guess who controls the lottery...... does anyone actually know someone who won more than $10.00... its all a big joke... let them eat cake
... famous quote. Lol
salvagebucke 3/16/2014 9:31:57 AM Report

thumbs4208 before calling anyone idiot maybe you should do a little research and check ontario public sector wage disclosure .
squeaky 3/16/2014 12:30:11 PM Report

I really don't know how people like myself who are on low incomes can afford to live...the groceries gone up, puc up and now gas....to heat with. Obviously they don't know what it is like to just make ends meet and not have nothing extra to buy much needed clothes...never mind if you own a house which is easier and cheaper than renting...then of course you can never do any upgrades on your house, because people like the gas company keeping gouging and gouging....so sick of it.
finnlander 3/17/2014 8:52:08 PM Report

I hope its not lost on everybody that this increase has a lot to do with the fact that the Libs shut down all of the coal generation not too long ago.
Comments
48
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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