Rates – Unaccounted-for Gas Rider D
In this decision, the AUC considered an application from ATCO Gas (a division of ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd.) requesting approval of its unaccounted-for gas (“UFG”) Rider D rate of 0.864 percent for 2019-2020, to be in effect from November 1, 2019. The AUC approved the UFG Rider D rate of 0.864 percent.
Charges for UFG are recovered in-kind from all shippers on the ATCO Gas distribution system, including the default supply providers by way of Rider D. For example, if the AUC approved ATCO Gas’s proposed Rider D rate of 0.864 percent, all customers of retailer and default supply providers utilizing distribution access service for delivering gas off the ATCO Gas distribution system would be assessed a distribution UFG charge of 0.864 percent at the point of delivery. The effect would be that all retailer and default supply provider customers must buy an extra 0.864 percent of natural gas in order to zero-balance their receipts and deliveries on the ATCO Gas system.
In its application, ATCO Gas explained that consistent with previous Rider D applications, it calculated its Rider D rate using measurement data from the preceding three years, in this case, from January 2016 to December 2018. ATCO Gas then averaged the UFG percentages for 2016, 2017 and 2018 to determine the Rider D rate for 2019.
The AUC found that ATCO Gas’s calculation of Rider D was consistent with the methodology approved in previous decisions, and in particular with Decision 23838-D01-2018. The AUC, therefore, approved Rider D at 0.864 percent, effective November 1, 2019.
In approving ATCO Gas’s application, the AUC indicated it took into account the fact that the applied-for Rider D of 0.864 percent was below the historical range of the combined UFG rate (0.954 to 1.220 percent).
The AUC noted that it issued several directions to ATCO Gas in respect of the Rider D rate in previous decisions. Recently, in Decision 23838-D01-2018 it directed ATCO Gas as follows:
45. Accordingly and consistent with Decision 22889-D01-2017, the Commission directs ATCO Gas to continue to provide the following in future Rider D applications on an annual basis:
Clear explanations of seasonal UFG differences, measurement corrections and reasons for UFG increases or decreases; and
Information on practices and procedures it has employed to reduce UFG.
46. The Commission also directs ATCO Gas to continue to provide details with respect to all measurement adjustments showing the reconciliation of prior years’ data in accordance with the direction found at page 7 of Decision 2008-105.
The AUC found that ATCO Gas complied with the directions of the AUC in Decision 23838-D01-2018. Specifically, in its application, ATCO Gas satisfactorily explained various measurement adjustments, the seasonal differences in UFG, the reason for changes in UFG, its efforts to implement operational changes and metering related to UFG, and provided a table showing the monthly line heater fuel usage, the associated carbon levy dollars and the difference from the previous year.