Natural gas has become a preferred source of energy for many people because it emits less carbon dioxide than most of the other types of energy. As a result, the demand for natural gas is on the rise. However, despite Alberta producing over three-quarters of this product in Canada, few companies offer competitive retail services to their clients. The good thing is that customers can choose to go for a competitive price or a regulated rate. This article will provide more details about natural gas and the buying options available to you.
Processing the natural gas
Natural gas is usually found beneath the earth’s surface in areas known as reservoirs. Once it’s removed, it goes through a gas processing to purify it. Some of the by-products derived from this process are propane, ethane, and pentanes. These byproducts are used for other functions while natural gas which is almost pure methane can be used by consumers. About 49% of natural gas produced in Alberta is used locally. Below are some of the natural gas consumers in Alberta:
Because natural gas is cleaner than most of the other types of energy sources, many homes use it. Most people utilize it for electricity generation around their homes, such as for hot water tanks and furnaces. If you’ve given much thought to the high energy bills, soon or later, you’ll likely try to figure out how to get affordable natural gas providers. Natural gas is suitable for operating various household appliances like fireplaces, clothes dryers, and stoves.
Whether it’s a hotel, school, restaurant, or office building, natural gas is your best source of energy. Likewise, natural gas can also be used for cooling, heating, and cooking in such establishments. Lately, large commercial organizations are also going for natural gas to generate electricity. Understandably, many of the organizations believe this is the best and economical source of energy.
The industrial sector is another largest user of natural gas in Alberta. Some of the industries that use it include food processing, metal, petroleum refining, chemical, and plastic industries. It gets better because you can use natural gas byproducts to produce ingredients for fertilizer, plastic, fabric, and other products. As mentioned earlier, many people prefer it as natural gas is perhaps one of the cleanest sources of energy, and it’s also more efficient and cheaper than many other types of energy sources.
Distribution of natural gas
Alberta is known for its large networks of gas pipelines that serve both Alberta and other outside market areas. Here are types of transportation pipelines:
- There is a pipeline that transports raw natural gas to the gas-processing plant from the wellhead.
- Pipelines that transport natural gas from the transmission pipelines to low-pressure distribution systems, such as residential and commercial properties. Suppliers usually add an odorant to the natural gas to easily detect any leakages.
- Distributors make sure that the natural gas supplied to consumers is of low-pressure. Therefore, there are meters to trace the amount of gas consumed by their clients.
Alberta natural gas options
If you are trying to figure out the best option for purchasing gas in Alberta, then you should know that you have fixed rates and floating rates. While a fixed rate assures you of predictability for budgeting purposes, the drawback is that it’s more expensive than purchasing natural gas using a floating rate.
You see, distributors of natural gas incorporate a price premium, meaning fixed prices can sometimes be higher. On the other hand, the main benefit of a floating rate is that you can enjoy lower market prices. With the floating rate fluctuating each month, you can reduce energy costs when the rate is lower.
Consumers who are interested in predictability and price security opt for natural gas fixed rates. This energy plan gives you a chance to lock in the energy rate for a long time and you can budget your energy bills. Simply put, fixed rates can prevent you from market fluctuations. Some of the elements that affect natural gas prices include natural disasters and changes in regulation.
Consumers who are worried about energy costs normally prefer the fixed rate. No wonder, small businesses, large households, large and small commercial customers, and industrial customers might sometimes find the fixed rates to be more appealing. However, this depends on your average natural gas consumption because some consumers don’t mind using either a fixed rate or floating rate.
Unlike the natural gas fixed rates, floating rates depend on the current market dynamics. What this means is that your energy bill varies month to month depending on the current market natural gas rates. Consumers who are interested in taking advantage of the lower rates to reduce energy costs, prefer using www.
The major attraction for floating rates is that the rate can be stable for a long time. This means you can be paying lower energy bills for long periods while they are still low. Consumers who can take some financial risks should go for floating rates. Even those with small homes and businesses, such as restaurants, high-rise offices, and medical clinics should use it.
Floating rate plans are most of the time much cheaper than fixed rates. This is because floating rates are based on the current market conditions, while fixed rates hedge against the future market situation.
When the prices for the natural gas increase, the distributor can adjust up the rate they charge you. However, a fixed rate is quite different because the distributor can’t adjust the rate. Consumers on fixed rates sign a contract which cannot be changed regardless of the market situations.
Despite the risk attached to the floating rate, it seems most people prefer it. It’s the only way you can get the best natural gas rate, and if you’re fortunate, you might continue paying lower rates than the fixed rate. It’s the only natural gas rate that is predictable and stable, making it the best option for your home or business.