Print this page

March 2014 - About Natural Gas Prices

March 22, 2014

Well the popular press has made a lot of noise about the coming increase in the price of natural gas in Ontario. Both Embridge and Union Gas have asked for significant increases - up to 40% - at the next price adjustment, April 1.

As I pointed out in the previous posting, at the next price adjustment, July 1, the prices will probably come back down - not down to the lowest rates in 10 years we had previously enjoyed, but they will drop (unless we have some other major world event or calamity).

What does this mean to users of natural gas, and how does this affect the payback of solar systems? Well it means that natural gas users will pay more for the next 3 months to heat their pool, houses, hot water, etc.. Paybacks on solar heating systems will improve, somewhat.

The higher efficiency pool heating solar collectors; Techno-Solis, Fafco & all brands of Aquatherm (Ecosun, Solar Industries, Sunheater, etc.) will savemore than lower efficiency rubber collectors like Enersol, Go-Solar and Solex. Heliocol saves the least.

The collectors are delivering the same amount of heat they were before - it's now worth more. If the cost of solar systems have not also risen, their paybacks are better.

As noted in last month's posting, the price of natural gas can be very volatile. Using a solar system to heat your pool or hot water does reduce or remove the concern about that cost volatility and they can eventually pay for themselves.