New RatesIn September 2023 the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board approved new natural gas distribution rates and a new rate structure for Eastward Energy’s commercial customers. The new rates will take effect on January 1, 2024.
Understanding New Rate Classes
To simplify our current rate class system, with the approval of the NSUARB, we have defined a new class system to make it easier to both understand. Our new rate classes will be, Residential, General Service, Rate Class 3 and Rate Class 4.
Residential: Premise of a single Customer, whether single family dwelling, separately metered single-family townhouse, rowhouse, condominium, duplex or apartment, or single-metered apartment blocks with four or fewer apartments where all or substantially all natural gas usage is for domestic or household purposes.
General Service: Any Customer who is an end-user and whose rate class is not either Residential, Rate Class 3, or Rate Class 4.
Rate Class 3: Any Customer who is an end-user and whose total gas requirements at that location are greater than 50,000 GJ per year.
The approved rates will be the first adjustment to Eastward Energy’s distribution rates since 2014. The new rates affect only the Base Energy Charge (a variable charge for the delivery of natural gas) and the Fixed Monthly Customer Charge (a fixed charge that covers the cost of your service line, natural gas meter, customer account administration and 24-hour emergency service).
This example demonstrates where a customer will see this change on their bill:
Please note, these figures are used for educational purposes and may not reflect current or future pricing.
Effective January 1, 2024, total distribution charges for residential customers – including the Fixed Monthly Customer Charge and Base Energy Charge – will increase by an average of 15% in 2024, 10% in 2025, and 10% in 2026.
|January 1, 2024||January 1, 2025||January 1, 2026|
|Fixed Monthly Customer Charge||$26.00/month||$27.50/month||$29.00/month|
|Base Energy Charge||$9.833/GJ||$11.015/GJ||$12.349|
General Service Customers
Effective January 1, 2024 a new General Service Class (GSC) will be implemented, replacing Rate Class 1, Rate Class 1A, and Rate Class 2. A new tiered pricing structure will also be implemented for General Service Class customers based on the total amount of natural gas used by a customer each month – as a General Service Class customer uses more natural gas in any month, their incremental cost per gigajoule (GJ) of natural gas will decrease.
|January 1, 2024||January 1, 2025||January 1, 2026|
|Fixed Monthly Customer Charge||$65.00||$65.00||$65.00|
|First 15 GJs/month||$8.220||$8.948||$9.142|
|Next 400 GJs/month||$5.513||$5.870||$5.943|
|All additional GJs/month||$5.263||$5.620||$5.693|
Industrial Customer (Rate Class 3)
The Base Energy Charge rates would increase by an average of 0.4% in 2024 and no increases in 2025 and 2026. There are no adjustments to Rate Class 3’s Fixed Monthly Customer Charge or Demand Charge.
Rate Class 4
If you fall under Rate Class 4, please note there will be no changes to your rate structure come January 1, 2024. Rates will remain the same under this rate class.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a General Tariff Application (GTA)?
An application made by a utility to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSUARB) requesting changes to our distribution rates and any other amendments to our regulations. The NSUARB conducts an open and transparent hearing process to review and make decisions on the changes we request.
When will the new rates be effective?
The new rates and rate classes will be effective January 1, 2024 and the Decision prescribes the new rates will be in effect from 2024 through to the end of 2026.
Why are rates increasing?
Despite increases in costs to the utility, we have not increased our distribution rates since 2014.
We have to move towards rates that fully recover the costs to serve all of our customers. The new rates are expected to achieve full cost recovery for the General Service Class and Rate Class 3 and move residential customers closer to full cost recovery.
Why are you changing to a tiered rate system?
The new tiered rate structure will use declining block rates for the General Service Class Customers, such that as a customer consumes more natural gas each month, their incremental cost/GJ will decline. This new structure better matches revenue with the cost to serve individual customers.
The new rate class structure will replace Rate Class 1, Rate Class 1A, and Rate Class 2 with a General Service Class (GSC), and a new Residential Service Class (RSC) rate class will be created for residential customers.
Why are residential rates increasing much more than rates for other customers?
As requested by the NSUARB, we are creating a residential-only rate class to ensure that, over time, the costs to serve residential customers are recovered in the distribution rates paid by residential customers.
Under the current rate structure, distribution rates for residential customers are subsidized by customers in other rate classes and we not recovering the full cost to serve residential customers. Through the proposed rate increases, cross-subsidization will be reduced. The increases approved will move residential customers closer to their true cost to serve them.