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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 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, 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

The cost of using Liberty's distribution network to have natural gas delivered to you includes features such as: customer charge, demand charge, and various types of rate blocks. Your rates depend on which rate class you fit into.

Residential customers who typically use gas for heat and hot water are placed in the Small General Service (SGS) Rate Class.

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, 2021, will be in place for at least one year.

As a regulated public gas distribution utility, Liberty 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 $1,556.39.

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: 2021 Rates & Charges

Overview

On Decembe 23rd, 2020, the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board (NB EUB) approved the distribution rates and charges for all Liberty customer rate classes in 2021. 

The distribution rate changes and the lower forecasted cost of the commodity of natural gas in 2021 result in reductions in the total cost of natural gas for all customers.

The adjustments to distribution rates and charges took effect January 1st, 2021.

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 2021.

Here is a quick look at the impact the changes would have on each rate class compared to 2020 and 2014:

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 $6.95 per GJ on January 1st, 2021 and is expected to remain under $7.00 for 2021. 

To see historical Utility Gas pricing, click here.

NOTE: Liberty 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. Click here 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 10% to 13% (depending on rate class) in total cost of natural gas in 2021 compared to 2020 and 33% to 45% compared to 2014. This takes into account the actual cost of commodity in January 2021 of $6.95/GJ.

For example: if a small business used 364 GJ of natural gas throughout the year for heat and hot water, their total annual cost of natural gas in 2021 would be $748 less than in 2020 and $3821 less than 2014.

How will the changes impact residential customers?

The Liberty Utility Gas price in 2021 is expected to be lower than the prices for 2020 and will positively impact the total cost of natural gas for residential customers as well.

Residential customers will see a decrease of 8% in the total cost of natural gas in 2021.

A typical residential customer, for example, who buys their gas supply from Liberty Utilities (Liberty Utility Gas) and uses 70 GJs per year for heat and hot water would see a total annual bill decrease of approximately $118 over the course of the year, compared to 2020 and $595 compared to 2014.

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.

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

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

Residential customers can still expect to see savings compared to electricity – an estimated 18% savings and even more if the cost of natural gas supply is lower than expected.

Commercial customers can expect to see 18-37% savings compared to No. 2 oil and 25-25% 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 (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 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 fifth year in a row. This has been achieved through prudent management of costs. Controlling and reducing expenses have resulted in rate stability for our customers and we expect this trend to continue.

So what will happen to my rates beyond 2021?

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.  

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 2020 and the January 2021 Liberty Utility Gas (LUG) rate, the 2020 and 2021 approved Distribution rates and charges, approved NB Power electric rates, and 2021 forecasts of No. 2 oil and propane.**

Natural Gas Distribution Charge

The cost of using Liberty's distribution system has a number of features such as: customer charge, demand charge, and various types of delivery rate blocks. Your rates depend on which rate class 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, 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 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 .

New Brunswick Carbon Charge Plan

On April 1, 2020, the Government of New Brunswick implemented a made-in-NB Carbon Tax, replacing the Federal Carbon Charge Plan.  With this new plan, the Government of New Brunswick is supporting natural gas customers by re-investing in the natural gas distribution system.  The benefit can be found on your bill, in the form of a credit, under the line “Provincial investment in distribution system”.

Key Questions & Answers

What is the ‘Provincial investment in Distribution System’ credit?

On April 1, 2020, the Government of New Brunswick (GNB) mplemented a made-in-NB Carbon Tax, replacing the Federal Carbon Plan. GNB will support natural gas customers by re-investing in the natural gas distribution system run by Liberty.

Liberty will be giving the $9M back to our customers, as it represents the amount that Liberty will be collecting from our customers as part of the New Brunswick Carbon Charge Program: ‘NB Tax on carbon emitting products’.

Who receives the $9M per year that GNB will be injecting into the public natural gas distribution system?

Liberty will be collecting the $9M from GNB and will be giving it back to customers in the form of a credit on their bill equal to the amount of the NB Tax on carbon emitting products.

How will it affect me?

This will result in a $0 balance for the NB Tax on Carbon Emitting Products.

Where is it on my bill?

The credit will appear on your bill under ‘Other Charges’ with the heading ‘Provincial investment in Distribution System’.

Why is there still a Federal Carbon Charge on my bill?

On your April bill, you will still see the Federal Carbon Charge for the March portion of your consumption as well as the Provincial charge and credit. Liberty is required to remit the Federal Carbon Charge to the Federal Government for consumption in March.

As an example: If you are invoiced from March 15 to April 15 with a consumption of 100 cubic meters, the charges would appear as:

Federal Carbon Charge $1.96 (50 cubic meters @ $0.0391 – March portion)
NB Tax on Carbon emitting products $2.94 (50 cubic meters @ $0.0587 – April portion)
Provincial Investment in distribution system   $-2.94  

How long will the Carbon Charge be on my bill?

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

The carbon charge began in 2019 and will increase by $10/tonne each year for three years until it reaches a maximum amount of $50/tonne in 2021. The carbon charge amount to Liberty customers escalates over the following years to $2.63 per GJ as of April 1st, 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)

How long will the ‘Provincial investments in Distribution System’ credit be on my bill?

The Provincial investment in Distribution System credit will continue until further notice.

How can I calculate my 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 approximately $1.57 per GJ of natural gas delivered.

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 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

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 is the holder of the General Franchise to distribute natural gas and provide Customer Services in the Province of New Brunswick. The purpose of the Rate Handbook is to define the various natural gas distribution rate classes and the associated rates and the scope and application of certain policies relating to the operation of Liberty’s Distribution System in the Province of New Brunswick.

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