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Posted May 15, 2024 by Name

Renting 101: Understanding Natural Gas and Energy Consumption

Natural gas in Alberta is a significant energy source as the province produces the majority of Canada’s supply. As a renter, it can be difficult to understand the intricacies surrounding this valuable resource. In this blog, we’ll break down some of the important information you should know about natural gas, what it’s used for, how it is billed and how to be more energy efficient.

What is Natural Gas?

Natural gas is a fossil fuel that is mainly used for heating as well as powering appliances and water heaters. It can also be used for electrical generation.

Who Supplies Natural Gas?

There are a number of utility companies that supply natural gas to residents. As a renter, your landlord may have previous arrangements for your gas services or you will have to choose the company best suited for you. Either way, it is important to discuss with your property manager upon moving in if they have a previous provider and if this service, including others like electricity, are currently active. If not, it could take some time to set up new accounts and gain access to the services.

How Do Natural Gas Bills Work?

Typically, gas bills are billed to a tenant monthly. The bills break down details such as usage, rates, service charges and tax. There are two main charges: the cost of energy consumed and cost of delivering energy. The cost of energy consumed accounts for the amount that you actively used in the billing period. The delivering energy charge is for the cost of installing, operating and maintaining the infrastructure - such as pipes and compressor stations - that transmit the energy from their plant to your home. This is a fixed rate that is regulated by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) and varies depending on which region you live in. All gas-related consumption or usage is measured in gigajoules, which is a standard measurement. The average regulated rate for natural gas is $4.47/GJ but that can vary month-to-month and across the province.

What Can I Do to Be More Energy Efficient?

Natural gas still contributes to carbon emissions, so be proactive by considering these tips. First, contact your property manager and see if there are any repairs needed to your natural gas appliances and equipment. At the same time, it would be ideal to also connect on who can seal potential drafts as these are an easy way for energy to escape. If possible, install a programmable thermostat that allows you to control the temperature of the house while away, ensuring you do not use excess energy.