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UBC no longer impacted by gas shortage, BCIT heat limits still in effect

Last Updated Oct 11, 2018 at 12:56 pm PST

Natural gas burner flame on black stove. (iSotck/BrianAJackson)
Summary

Students and staff at UBC and BCIT are being told to brace for natural gas shortages

FortisBC says 70% of its 1 million customers could potentially lose gas supply

An Enbridge pipeline explosion in Prince George could affect natural gas supply across B.C.

METRO VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The University of British Columbia (UBC) says its buildings are no longer impacted by natural gas shortages following an Enbridge pipeline explosion in Prince George Oct. 9., but BCIT is still limiting heat on the north side of the Burnaby campus.

UBC and British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) sent out alerts to students and staff as both schools to brace for shortages on Wednesday.

“We are monitoring building temperatures closely and we’ll continue to update the community as we get further news from FortisBC,” says Jocelyn Leszczynski from BCIT.

UBC is still asking the university community to reduce their usage as FortisBC continues to deal with a shortage in supply.

As many as 700,000 FortisBC customers could lose their natural gas supply as the explosion could affect supply across the province. The company has asked customers to lower their consumption, including both schools.

WATCH: Natural Gas Pipeline Explodes in Northern BC

“Fortis BC, the local gas utility, is asking all customers, including UBC, to curtail non-essential use of natural gas,” read a statement from UBC. “Heat, hot water and cooking equipment are considered essential, but community members are asked to reduce their usage.”

The school says some students could be affected as early as Wednesday night.

RELATED: Pipeline explosion near Prince George

“Given UBC’s geographic location at the end of the line, if Fortis BC runs out of gas, buildings that use natural gas for heating, hot water and cooking will be impacted.”

More than 30 buildings of the Vancouver campus may be affected.

Meanwhile, students and staff at BCIT are being asked to dress warmly.

“FortisBC is asking BCIT to urgently limit natural gas usage,” read the message from the school. “We ask that all students, staff, and faculty please anticipate chilly mornings and evenings.”

RELATED: 700,000 FortisBC customers could lose gas service, following pipeline explosion

The school says heating will be “very limited” at the north side of its Burnaby campus until further notice.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.

-With files from Denise Wong