What is a Gas Co-op?

A Gas Co-op is a member-owned utility cooperative that serves its community. Originally established to provide service to less densely populated rural areas of Alberta, Gas Co-ops were a solution to the lack of profitability that deterred larger private utility companies from serving these communities.

The Birth of Gas Co-ops: A Brief History

In 1975, the Alberta government enacted the Rural Gas Act. This pivotal legislation offered government grants to rural communities, drastically reducing the cost of installing gas infrastructure and making it financially viable for these areas to be served.

How are Gas Rates Set?

Gas rates are comprised of three main elements:

  1. Cost of Gas: This is the wholesale rate that Gas Alberta charges to purchase natural gas on the open market.
  2. Distribution Fees: These cover the cost of distributing natural gas through the co-op’s pipeline system. The fees encompass operation, maintenance, administration, unaccounted-for gas loss, and contributions to the capital reserve fund. These fees are usually set annually by the Board of Directors after approving the yearly operational budget.
  3. Monthly Fixed Charge: This is a set fee charged to all customers to ensure a consistent revenue stream for the co-op. Like distribution fees, this is set annually by the Board of Directors.

Why Does the Cost of Gas Change Every Month?

The cost of natural gas is influenced by the North American market. Various factors like supply, weather, and market demand can cause fluctuations in the price.

How Do I Know If I Have a Gas Leak?

At Bow River Gas Co-op, we add an odorant called Mercaptan to natural gas, giving it a distinctive smell. If you detect this odor, immediately exit the building without turning on or off any electrical switches, including lights, and call Bow River Gas Co-op for emergency service. If the situation is not urgent, ventilate the area and contact us for a service visit.

What Happens If My Gas Is Shut Off for Non-Payment?

To reinstate your gas service, you’ll need to settle all outstanding fees, including termination and penalty charges. Reconnection fees must be paid in full. Customers with recurring payment issues may also be required to provide a deposit.

How Can I Pay My Monthly Gas Bill?

Bow River Gas Co-op accepts Checks, Cash, and Pre-authorized Debit. We also facilitate online payments through most major banks.

What Should I Do If I Missed a Payment?

If you’ve missed a payment or find yourself unable to pay, please contact us. We’re committed to working with our members to find a solution and avoid additional fees.