Buyer Beware – Caveat Emptor
29 September 2021
Comparing prices, services, and contracts is your right and responsibility as a signing officer. As a co-operative, we want to provide you with the assistance and information you need to manage your energy costs. That is why our pricing details show you how we arrive at our price. To help you compare apples to apples in your review process we have compiled a list of items you should be aware of when considering a natural gas agreement.
Look For: Ontario Landed Gas
Why: The landed cost is the total cost of natural gas delivered to an Ontario location as determined by the LDC, including fees and transportation charges to Ontario. Natural Gas that is landed in Ontario is a more inclusive price offering and provides price certainty.
Beware: Be cautious of the phrase Landed Gas without the location being clearly listed. If the natural gas is landed somewhere else, you may pay additional charges to transport it to Ontario.
Look for: Fully Included Transportation Costs
Why: Ontario imports most of its natural gas. If the gas is not already landed in Ontario, you will have to pay extra to transport it to the province.
Beware: Make sure all transportation costs to Ontario are included in the price. Some retailers will include partial transportation costs but not all of them. For example, the price may include transportation costs from the wellhead to Empress on the Alberta border, but not the remaining costs to transport it to Ontario. Look for the words Parkway or Dawn, these delivery points are both located in Ontario.
Look for: Fuel Costs
Why: The fuel charge is the portion of gas used the get your natural gas down the TransCanada pipeline to Ontario. This price should be clearly stated in any contract you sign, however, if you are buying Ontario landed gas there is NO fuel charge.
Beware: If you are buying Ontario landed gas there should be no fuel gas charge, as it should already be included in the price. IF the contract specifies each component of the price, then ensure the contract includes the exact fuel charge you are expected to pay. Vague language can lead to surprise costs over time.
When you are tallying up another offer, make sure you are including all the charges involved. If you need a second opinion you can always send AEC a copy of a potential contract for a free review. We will look it over for you and offer you a no-obligation commentary on the proposal and if you wish, a competitive price for your consideration.
Protect Your Account Information
You need to be cautious when sharing your account number. Like all confidential information, your account number can be used to your detriment. We recommend hiding your account number when sharing your bill unless you plan on entering a contract. It is not necessary to share your account number unless you want to share your past consumption data, or you are enrolling in energy services.