Natural gas prices in Ottawa seem to be skyrocketing, leaving many residents in shock as they receive their bills from Enbridge Gas.
Tamara Mason, a resident and Enbridge customer, was one of many who were surprised to see a significant increase in the monthly bill.
“So when I got my bill, I thought, ‘what the heck?'” Mason said. “In December, it was $198. And my new bill, my bill now is $251.81.”
Mason has lived in her house for almost nine years and says she has never broken the $200 mark for her gas bill, until now. Her bill has gone up 27 per cent from December, and 35 per cent in the past year.
“I’ve used less and it’s $251,” said Mason.
Mason is wondering why gas prices are going higher, even in a milder winter.
“This is probably the mildest winter I remember my whole life,” Mason said.
Enbridge Gas spokesperson Andrea Strass says the war in Ukraine is putting pressure on worldwide prices and demand in North America has gone up.
“Throughout 2022, we experienced some increases in market prices, actually a steady series of increases related to the conflict in Ukraine. And we’ve seen a growing demand for North American natural gas as a result of that conflict,” Strass said.
Strass adds Enbridge has set their new payment for the next year based on current rates.
“And since the prices are quite a bit higher today than they were when their previous payment was set, that is resulting in a higher monthly installment amount. And I think that’s what people are seeing.”
Strass also explains that residents are paying for their natural gas usage at the rate that was in place at the time of use.
“At the end of the day, you only pay for what you use at the rate that was in place when we used it,” says Strass. “So we have ways of matching your use to the rate that was in place at the time.”
As for Mason, she will continue to monitor her bills and do what she can to keep her payments as low as possible.
“It’s one thing for something to go up $5 or $10 a month. It’s another thing, $60, $65 is material for people,” said Mason.