VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Don’t crank up that thermostat just yet — that’s the message coming from FortisBC. as the flow of natural gas through two pipelines impacted by a rupture near Prince George last month isn’t expected to be at 100 per cent until the spring.
“Particularly in November,” Sean Beardow with FortisBC says. “This is certainly the month where we start to see temperatures drop considerably.”
Repairs made by Enbridge mean they’ll be ramping up to 80 per cent capacity over the next few weeks, which is great news for the system.
However, Beardow says it also means conservation will need to continue, as we move into cooler weather.
“It doesn’t change the problem we have been facing, which is we will be operating with less gas than we typically have throughout the winter season.”
He says customers across the province have been doing pretty well with conserving since the rupture, and adds that putting on a sweater or doing in laundry in cold water can make a big difference.
“We’re anticipating the lines won’t return to full capacity until the spring,” he adds. “Bringing the line back onto capacity, there’s a lot of different steps that need to be taken. Obviously they are doign a lot of work on safety, inspections, and the NEB plays a strong role in when a line can return to 100 per cent capacity.”
Beardown says Fortis anticipates the lines won’t return to full capacity until the spring.
He says British Columbians have stepped up during the time of need, and adds there was a 20 per cent drop in natural gas demand from Fortis customers over the past few weeks.
“We’ve seen a lot of municipalities take some pretty strong action to conserve, dropping temperatures in some of the municipal buildings, which has been great to see.”
Fortis encourages customers to identify where they are using gas the most, and try to use just a little bit less.
“Every little bit really does help.”