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Rates & Charges

Your total cost of natural gas includes the cost of natural gas supply itself and the cost of distribution. In New Brunswick, natural gas is provided in an "unbundled market" which means the cost of distributing natural gas is separated from the cost of supply.

Distribution rates and charges are the cost of operating the utility's distribution network, which is the pipeline system that distributes natural gas to you. Each rate class has a different set of rates and charges, based on how much it costs to deliver natural gas. For homeowners, the cost of distribution is broken into the flat monthly customer charge and the delivery rate, which is multiplied by how much you consume in the month.

As a regulated public gas distribution utility, Liberty Utilities submits applications on an annual basis that are being reviewed and approved by the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) as part of an open and transparent regulatory process.

Supply or "commodity" is the natural gas itself that you use. You can have Liberty Utilities, the regulated utility, supply your natural gas or you can sign a contract for gas supply with an independent Gas Marketer licensed by the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board .

Fluctuations in the price of the commodity of natural gas in the future, but they may affect the amount of savings. If the commodity goes up, your savings compared to last year and alternative energy may be lower, and your savings may be greater.

The  Liberty Utilities Handbook of Rates and Distribution Services includes a glossary of terms and conditions of the Rules & Regulations and the Terms & Conditions.

Current Natural Gas Distribution Rates & Charges

Each rate class has a different set of rates and charges, which is based on the cost of using Liberty Utilities is distributed to the Customer Charge and the Delivery Rate. 

Rate Class Customer Charge
($ / month)
Delivery Rates
($ / GJ)
Small General Service 20.00 10.40

The approved distribution delivery rate for residential customers, effective January 1st, 2020, will be in place for at least one year.

As a regulated public gas distribution utility, Liberty Utilities submits applications on an annual basis that are being reviewed and approved by the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) as part of an open and transparent regulatory process.

For residential customers, adjustments to the distribution rate is based on a target 20% annual savings compared to the NB Power residential electricity rate and the forecasted cost of natural gas supply (Liberty Utilities Gas). 

Remember, the distribution is only one portion of your bill. Your total cost of natural gas includes the cost of natural gas supply itself and the cost of distribution.

Your total annual cost will depend on how much more natural gas is used, but here is an example:

If you are a typical residential customer who uses your Liberty Utilities (Liberty Utility Gas), your total annual cost would be $1,929.

Click here for the Distribution Rates & Charges for all other rate classes.

Click here for more information on the 2020 Rates & Charges.

Frequently Asked Questions: 2020 Rates & Charges

Overview

On December 23rd, 2019, the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board (NB EUB) approved the distribution rates and charges for all Liberty Utility customer rate classes in 2020. 

The changes and the lower forecasted cost of the commodity of natural gas in 2020 result in significant reductions in the total cost of natural gas for all customers.

The adjustments to distribution rates and charges took effect January 1st, 2020.

How will customers be affected?

The actual impact on customers’ total annual bills will depend on rate class, how much natural gas is consumed and the actual cost of natural gas supply in 2020.

Here is a quick look at the impact the changes would have on each rate class:

What if the commodity goes up or down?

Fluctuations in the price of the commodity of natural gas throughout the year will not affect distribution rates and charges in place. But they may affect the amount of savings you will experience. If the commodity goes up, your savings compared to last year and alternative energies may be slightly lower and if the commodity goes down, your savings may be greater. We’re excited to share that the Liberty Utility Gas price in New Brunswick was reduced to $9.98 per GJ January 1st, 2020!

To see historical Utility Gas pricing, click here.

NOTE: Liberty Utilities Gas New Brunswick does not earn a profit on the sale of natural gas supply (Liberty Utility Gas). Customers have a choice when it comes to purchasing their natural gas supply. Please visit www.nbeub.ca for more information.

How will the changes impact commercial customers?

Commercial customers include small to large sized businesses and organizations in the Mid-General Service (MGS) and Large General Service Rate (LGS) Classes.

The lower distribution rates for all commercial customers will mean decreases of 11% to 16% (depending on rate class) in total cost of natural gas in 2020 compared to 2019. This takes into account the lower forecast of the average cost of commodity in 2020 of $9.44/GJ.

For example: if a small business used 366 GJ of natural gas throughout the year for heat and hot water, their total annual cost of natural gas in 2020 would be $1,175.18 less than in 2019!

How will the changes impact residential customers?

The lower average forecast of the Liberty Utility Gas price in 2020 of $9.44/GJ is expected to be well below the prices for 2019 (annual average current/forecast of $11.77/GJ) and will positively impact the total cost of natural gas for residential customers as well.

Despite an adjustment to increase the residential distribution customer charge from $18 to $20 and the distribution rate from $10.02/GJ to $10.40/GJ, residential customers would see a decrease of 7% in the total cost of natural gas in 2020 when taking the lower expected commodity cost into account.

A typical residential customer, for example, who buys their gas supply from Liberty Utilities (Liberty Utility Gas) and uses 77 GJ per year for heat and hot water would see a total annual bill decrease of approximately $149.25 over the course of the year, compared to 2019.

How are distribution rates and charges calculated?

Distribution rates and charges are calculated based on the costs to provide distribution services to each rate class.

The decreases to the commercial distribution rates and charges are the result of our continued prudent cost management and a reduction to the revenue requirement from sharing overearnings achieved during 2018.

The adjustments to the residential distribution customer charge and distribution rate bring the price more in line with what it costs the utility to deliver natural gas to residential customers.

The distribution rates and charges continue to be set in order to remain competitive in the marketplace.

How does natural gas compare to cost of the other energies?

Residential customers can still expect to see savings compared to electricity – an estimated 16% savings and even more if the cost of natural gas supply is lower than expected.

Commercial customers can expect to see 26-41% savings compared to No. 2 oil and 25-35% compared to electricity, and even greater savings if the cost of natural gas supply is lower than expected!

Why are distribution rates higher in New Brunswick?

Distribution rates in New Brunswick are typically higher than mature jurisdictions across North America because the costs associated with operating and maintaining the distribution system in this province are covered by a smaller number of customers. Mature markets have established distribution systems, some of which have been around for 160 years, and serve thousands to millions of customers.

What is the process for approving and implementing the rates?

Liberty Utilities (New Brunswick) submits an annual rate application to the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board. All adjustments to distribution rates and charges for all rate classes are then reviewed and approved by the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board through an open and transparent regulatory process.

To learn more about the regulatory process, visit www.nbeub.ca.

What is Liberty Utilities doing to keep my bills low and manageable?

We work with the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board through an open and transparent regulatory process to make sure customers are not only paying a fair price for natural gas but are seeing savings compared to alternate energies.

Costs to operate and serve our 12,000 customers are decreasing for the fourth year in a row. This has been achieved through prudent management of costs. Controlling and reducing expenses have resulted rate stability for our customers and we expect this trend to continue.

So what will happen to my rates beyond 2020?

Keeping natural gas rates low and stable is our priority. It’s in our best interest to ensure customers are experiencing savings and a fair price for natural gas in order to continue to grow the number of customers and reduce distribution rates for everyone.  

While the changes to the Gas Distribution Act in 2016 dictated distribution rates and charges for all customers in 2018 and 2019, they gave more authority to the independent regulator – the NB Energy and Utilities Board – going forward. That means for 2020 and beyond, we can all take confidence in its expertise and the open and transparent public regulatory process to make sure customers are paying just and reasonable rates.

Why do we have to pay distribution charges at all?

In New Brunswick, natural gas is provided in an “unbundled market,” which means the cost of distributing natural gas is separated from the cost of supply (commodity). This differs to the way other energies are priced in New Brunswick, including electricity.

Why is it more expensive here in New Brunswick compared to other provinces?

Distribution rates for natural gas in New Brunswick are higher than more mature jurisdictions across North America, like Ontario for example, because the costs to operate and maintain the distribution system here in this province are covered by a smaller number of customers. Mature markets have established distribution systems, some of which have been around for 160 years, and serve thousands to millions of customers.

**All numbers listed here are based on the 2019 and the 2020 forecast of the Liberty Utility Gas (LUG) rate, the 2019 and 2020 approved Distribution rates and charges, approved NB Power electric rates, and 2020 forecasts of No. 2 oil and propane.**

Natural Gas Distribution Charge

The cost of using Liberty Utilities has a number of features such as: customer charge, demand charge, and various types of delivery rate blocks. Your rates depend on which rate you fit into. Residential customers who typically use gas for heat and hot water are placed in the Small General Service (SGS) Rate Class.

How long will the current distribution rates and charges be in place?

Distribution rates & charges for all rates are reviewed by the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board  and are based on an annual basis, as part of an open and transparent regulatory process.

How are the distribution rates and charges determined?

Distribution rates and charges for all rates are reviewed and adjusted on an annual basis, and may be changed with the approval of the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board.

For residential customers, the rate of supply is calculated based on a target 20% annual savings compared to the NB Power residential electricity rate and a forecast of the annual cost of natural gas supply (Liberty Utilities Gas.)

(For commercial customers, delivery rates and charges are calculated based on the cost of supplying services to each class.)

Why are distribution rates higher in New Brunswick?

Distribution rates in New Brunswick are generally higher than those of North America because of the costs associated with operating the system. Mature markets have established distribution systems, some of which have been around for 160 years, and many thousands of customers.

Natural Gas Commodity Charge

The commodity is the cost of the natural gas supply that you use.

You and other natural gas customers have options for your natural gas supply. You can have Liberty Utilities, the regulated utility, supply your gas or you can sign a gas contract for an independent gas marketer licensed by the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board.

The price of natural gas in New Brunswick is based on market conditions in North America. The market price of natural gas, like any other commodity, can fluctuate during the year and from year to year. However, your gas supplier can take steps to stabilize the price you maximize throughout the year.

Remember, the distribution is only one portion of your bill. Your total cost of natural gas includes the cost of natural gas supply itself and the cost of distribution .

Fluctuations in the price of the commodity of natural gas in the future, but they may affect the amount of savings. If the commodity goes up, your savings compared to last year and alternative energy may be lower, and your savings may be greater.

Note: Liberty Utilities does not earn a profit on the natural gas supply (Liberty Utility Gas). Click here for the Utility Gas Historical Commodity Rates .

For a list of contact information for New Brunswick's licensed gas marketers, click here .

Federal Carbon Charge

The Government of Canada's new carbon pricing system, commonly referred to as "carbon tax," is applied to fossil fuels including the natural gas consumed by Liberty Utilities customers in New Brunswick. It began to appear on customers' bills April 1st, 2019.

According to the federal government, New Brunswick (along with Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Ontario) did not have an approved carbon pricing plan and is required to comply with the Federal Backstop Plan. The price per ton in these 4 provinces is set by the federal government.The other 6 provinces have carbon pricing set by their provincial governments. Refer to the federal government's website for more information at: Government of Canada - Putting a price on pollution .

Key Questions & Answers

Who receives the money from the carbon charge?

All the money that Liberty Utilities collects from the Federal Carbon Charge goes to the Government of Canada .

How much are customers being charged?

The carbon charge is $20 per tonne of CO² emitted by fossil fuel burning, such as natural gas. To comply with federal regulations, Liberty Utilities customers will be charged 3.91 cents per m³ of natural gas delivered in the first year. That's about $1.05 for every Gigajoule (GJ).

Is the Federal Carbon Charge Going to Increase?

According to the Government of Canada, the fuel charge will increase by $10 per tonne, until it reaches $50 per ton in 2022. New Brunswick natural gas customers will be charged:

  • 5.87 cents per m³ in April, 2020 (that's about $1.57 per GJ)
  • 7.83 cents per m³ in April, 2021 (that's about $2.10 per GJ)
  • 9.79 cents per m³ in April, 2022 (that's about $2.63 per GJ)

* NOTE: Because natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, the Federal Carbon Charge for natural gas is less than the charge for propane and oil. It emits less greenhouse gases.

How much is the Federal Carbon Charge going to cost customers?

For typical households in New Brunswick, the Federal Carbon Charge will be $90 in the first year. (That's based on the $1.05 / GJ and the estimated consumption of 74 GJ, plus HST.)

For business and institution customers, the impact will depend on customer class and consumption levels.

The impact on customers will be increased by approximately 2-8% on the total cost of natural gas in the first year.

Where is it on my bill? 

The amount appears under the natural gas section of the bill under the heading 'Federal Carbon Charge'.

How long will the carbon charge be on my bill?

The carbon charge rate is set by the federal government. Liberty Utilities will continue to comply with legislation as long as it is in place.

The carbon charge began in 2019 and will increase by $10 per tonne by 2022. The carbon charge amounts to $2.63 per GJ as of April 1st, 2022.

Will HST be applied to the Federal Carbon Charge?

Yes, the HST is applied to the carbon charge. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) sets the rules on the application of tax. Questions about this would be best directed to CRA .

How can I calculate my Federal Carbon Charge?

Customers can contact our customer service team at 1-800-994-2762 or CustomerCareNB@libertyutilities.com.

Customers who know their previous natural gas consumption can estimate the cost of the carbon load with the calculation of 3.91 cents per m³ (which is approximately $1.05 per GJ) of natural gas delivered.

I want to speak to someone at the Federal Government. Who should I contact?

We suggest visiting the "Contact Us" webpage for Environment and Climate Change Canada at Government of Canada - Environment & Climate Change .

How do I qualify for an exemption?

Based on the provisions in the federal legislation, Businesses can be such as farmers, fishers, operators and remote operators. Please refer to Canada Revenue Agency - Pollution Pricing for additional details. The forms are available from CRA at the following link: Canada Revenue Agency - Forms .

Natural Gas Marketers in New Brunswick

Natural Gas Marketers are licensed and licensed by the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board (EUB). However, the Board does not regulate the terms and conditions of the Gas Marketer's contracts. Liberty Utilities is not a licensed Gas Marketer (as we are instead, regulated by the EUB) but we are authorized to sell natural gas. As consumers, you have the responsibility to understand and understand the terms and conditions of your business.

For example, a typical contract has a minimum term of one year or more. Find out how to improve your energy supply, what you need to improve, and what benefits you will receive when you are in the market.

The following are all licensed natural gas suppliers.

Company Classification

Liberty Utilities

Liberty Utility  Gas

Seller of Gas
Irving Energy Services Limited Seller of Gas
Park Fuels Seller of Gas

Have questions about the commodity charge or how to purchase your gas supply? Contact us .

The New Brunswick Energy & Utilities Board - 1-866-766-2782

Handbook of Rates and Distribution Services

Liberty Utility Gas ("LUG") is the holder of the General Franchise to Distribute Natural Gas and provide Customer Services in the Province of New Brunswick. LUG's Distribution System in the Province of New Brunswick. The purpose of the Rate Handbook is to define the various natural gas distribution and the use of LUG's Distribution System.

In accordance with the Gas Distribution Act, 1999, Liberty Utilities is required to file with the Board of Directors, and the Board has approved for distribution services that Liberty Utilities offers in the Province. These rates and tariffs are set out in the Liberty Utilities Handbook of Rates and Distribution Services (PDF).