The Canadian Propane Association says high international demand, coupled with increasing transportation costs, have caused a spike in propane prices, which many people on Vancouver Island use to heat their homes.
Board Chair Nancy Borden says there are levies and carbon taxes on propane, which they would like to see reduced or eliminated because propane is a cleaner-burning fuel.
“We would like to see the government sort of step up and help. We are a first-in fuel, a first-in heat source, and support people that are living remotely, and we’d like to keep the price as low as we can.”
She says Association member companies saw this coming, and have secured propane to build up a winter supply, thus keeping the price as controlled as possible.
Borden says while the industry works on proving the life-cycle of propane, end-users should budget to pay more through the winter. “You know, our cost of living has increased 4 percent in the last month. That’s a really high increase so definitely budget for it, for pre-planning.” She recommends home heating users reach out to their propane supplier if they need to determine how much more they will pay this winter.
Borden also believes users can have an impact on taxes and levies against propane. She says they can provide feedback to provincial and federal government. Propane is taxed like other types of fuel, but Borden says it shouldn’t be because it is a clean burning fuel. “Most of our production is in Alberta, you know, born and bred right here in Canada, so most of our production of course is in our sister province of Alberta. And it is a derivative of natural gas. We in the propane industry across North America have been doing some really giant leaps forward regarding renewable propane … the first renewable propane pump (started service) down south just last month.”
“We’re constantly trying to up our game and do as good as we can but yeah we call this a very clean and friendly fuel. We’re not the typical dirty fuels that people refer to in the oil and gas industry. We sort of get lumped in, because we are a by product of natural gas. But if you look at our GHG (Greenhouse Gas) numbers, they’re really wonderful.”
Borden says propane is a “first in” fuel, meaning that people can be heating homes with it in remote locations before other services are installed, such as power and water.
“Our hearts are with… especially our remote and rural communities. We know where you are, all of you, and we drive into you every day and we’re working really hard to keep them supported in the area that they choose to live. And we celebrate, that especially if it’s on a rocky little crag of our wonderful Vancouver Island.”