FortisBC is asking customers to turn down the thermostat and cut back on hot water use to preserve natural gas supply. (CORGI HomePlan/Flickr)

FortisBC warns extended cold snap could lead to natural gas shortage

Supply has been down since an Enbridge pipeline ruptured in Prince George on Oct. 9

A warm start to winter and preventative measures have helped B.C. conserve its natural gas supply, but FortisBC says it’s not out of the woods yet.

The utility has been dealing with shortages since an Enbridge pipeline ruptured near Prince George on Oct. 9.

The line operated at 50 per cent for weeks until the federal regulator allowed the company to raise operating capacity to 85 per cent on Nov. 17.

READ MORE: Enbridge says it’s increasing gas flows in repaired B.C. pipeline

Although FortisBC called the news positive in a Thursday update, it said the province would “still not receive as much gas as it normally expects” from Enbridge.

A cold snap could worsen the situation, the utility said, and leave it in a position where “demand is outpacing supply.”

That could leave larger industrial and commercial clients with a shortage.

“We’ve done extensive work, both internally and with the British Columbia Utilities Commission, to prepare for any sort of service disruption,” CEO Roger Dall’Antonia said.

“While the risk has decreased, it’s still present until the pipeline returns to normal service. If we work together to conserve natural gas, we can continue to reduce this risk.”

FortisBC recommends turning down the thermostat a few degrees and cutting back on the amount of hot water being used to reduce natural gas use at home.


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