Frequently Asked Questions
Where does our natural gas come from?
The natural gas that is distributed by Énergir comes from western Canada and from the United States. It may originate from conventional deposits or non-conventional sources.
Why can’t you tell where it is from?
The natural gas that is distributed by Énergir comes from western Canada and from the United States, including sources such as the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB), the US Rockies, the Mid-continent, the Marcellus region, and the Gulf of Mexico. It may originate from conventional deposits or non-conventional sources.
However, it is currently difficult, or even impossible, to trace the exact place where the gas was produced, ie the well itself. Natural gas is traded on markets and purchased through various intermediaries such as banks or brokers, for example. Due to the numerous interconnections in the North American gas networks, it is impossible to identify the exact source of a given molecule of natural gas.
This situation is comparable to that of electricity. Once an electron is in the network, there is no way to tell whether it was generated by a dam or a wind turbine, or whether it was imported from a coal-fired plant in the United States.
As a distributor, Énergir procures its supplies from various intermediaries (brokers) which in turn obtain their supplies from many suppliers located in two hubs: Empress, in Alberta, and Dawn, in Ontario. The natural gas supply contracts that are signed by Énergir do not specify the source of the natural gas that is purchased.
Follow-up on sustainable development performance - 2016 fiscal year
As at September 30, 2016:
- 24 suppliers at the Dawn hub (Ontario)
- 26 suppliers at the Empress hub (Alberta)
- 1 supplier of renewable natural gas (Quebec)
Since November 2016, the vast majority of Énergir’s supplies has come from the Dawn hub, in southern Ontario. This decision was prompted by the Régie de l’énergie, which has been urging Énergir to move its supply structure closer to the markets it serves.
Does the gas that is distributed in Québec contain shale gas?
The natural gas that is distributed in Énergir’s network comes from both conventional deposits and non-conventional sources, including shale gas. This is mainly due to the growing volumes of natural gas that are currently being produced from non-conventional sources in North America.
At Énergir, we are mindful of the concerns associated with non-conventional gas production.
Énergir is taking action where it wields the greatest influence, namely the supply chain. That is why, for many years now, Énergir has been actively promoting the development of renewable natural gas (RNG) in Québec. We are banking more and more on the huge potential for RNG development in order to reduce the ecological footprint of our own activities and to provide a solution to our customers who wish to reduce their carbon footprints. We are working towards a target of having RNG represent at least 5% of the volume contained in the gas network by 2020.
Meanwhile, gas supplies are an integral part of Énergir’s responsible procurement process. The end goals are to identify which gas producers have the best sustainable development practices, and to be able to improve traceability in order to know more precisely where and how the gas is produced.
Considering all the impacts, is natural gas really more environmentally friendly than petroleum products, such as heating oil?
The natural gas consumed at the customer’s premises (i.e. with combustion) reduces greenhouse gas emissions (GGE) by up to 32%, compared with heating oil and propane. Natural gas releases significantly fewer air pollutants and almost totally eliminates sulphur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), the pollutants that are responsible, among others, for acid rain.
To preserve these benefits, it is important to reduce the environmental footprint throughout the supply chain. That said, to evaluate a conversion from one source of energy to another, we must compare apples with apples. If we are looking at the natural gas supply chain as a whole, we must also perform the same analysis for the supply chain of all the petroleum products that are currently being consumed, including their source, the production method, production conditions, method of transportation and distance travelled to get the petroleum products to us.
At Énergir, while we understand and absolutely share the ambition of making a low-carbon world, we are also convinced of the necessity of remaining pragmatic when establishing an action plan. That is why we believe that by maximizing our efforts to encourage our customers to be more energy-efficient, by injecting 5% biomethane content in our gas network, by reducing the impacts all along the supply chain, and by focusing on markets where natural gas can make a real difference in the emissions that are currently being produced, in particular by displacing petroleum products (which inherently emit more greenhouse gases), we can concretely help reduce greenhouse gases and contribute to the transition towards a lower-carbon economy. This is notably the case in industry sectors and regions.
What quantity of renewable natural gas is injected in your network?
At present, the quantity of renewable natural gas (RNG) that is injected into our network is very minimal. To know more about it, please consult our sustainability report.
As you could see, we actually have one supplier who injected in our network.
For many years now, Énergir has been actively promoting the development of RNG in Québec, in keeping with the GGE reduction targets that have been set by the government. Taking into consideration the time it takes to set the necessary infrastructures, our target is to achieve a minimum of 5% RNG content in our gas network by 2020.
Énergir is increasingly banking on the significant development potential for renewable natural gas (RNG) in order to reduce the environmental footprint of its own activities, and to offer a solution to its customers who wish to reduce their carbon footprint, thanks to our gas network. We hope to procure an ever greater supply of renewable natural gas from sources in Québec, and many biomethanization projects are currently under development or under construction in Québec.
Some prime examples are Saint-Hyacinthe, which will become the first municipality in Québec to inject RNG in the Énergir network in the fall of 2017, and Beauharnois-Salaberry and Roussillon (BioM) which will begin injecting RNG in the network in 2019.
Request for renewable natural gas
How do I turn on, maintain or repair my appliances?
For turning on, maintaining, or repairing your natural gas appliances, you can contact an Énergir Certified Natural Gas Partne -- reliable experts in the field of natural gas. You can also contact Gaz Métro Plus for specialized assistance, and integrated products and services in the energy field.
Why opt for a central heating system?
A central heating system is much more functional than electric baseboards, which produce very localized heat and provide no atmospheric mixing nor any control on the rate of humidity. The very versatile central heating system can be optimized by adding a filter, a humidifier and an air conditioner. The central heating system carefully controls the temperature and humidity of the home. The heat is spread uniformly throughout every room. Air is constantly being filtered, providing exceptional air quality and eliminating a good quantity of dust.
Residential - Heating appliances
Business - Heating equipment
Is a natural gas water heater more efficient than an electric water heater?
Natural gas water heaters are much more functional than electric water heaters because they heat water two times faster than the electric variety.
Can natural gas be used for air conditioning?
There are some air conditioners that do use natural gas. These air conditioners are used in commercial, industrial and institutional sectors. However, it is also possible to install a forced air central system plus an electric air condtioner for home use. This combination-- a natural gas forced air heating system and an electric air conditioner--is cheaper than buying a thermopump.
How much natural gas do appliances for my business consume?
To learn more about the average annual consumption of certain natural gas appliances, visit the "Appliance" section. Take note that several factors play a role when analyzing consumption, such as the number of occupants, how often the appliance is used, the area in question and the building insulation.
What type of natural appliances exists?
There is a wide range of natural gas appliances, whether for heating, hot water or processes. Check the list of the most popular appliances and discover the grants associated with it.
Are natural gas appliances safe?
New appliances all come with tested security systems. Annual preventive maintenance of your appliances or a simple check-up by a qualified professional ensures their good-working order, optimal efficiency and longer life. A qualified contractor who possesses a licence from the Régie du batiment and who is a member of the Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec must take care of turning on, maintaining and repairing your natural gas appliances.
What are the advantages to switch to natural gas?
A vast and secure distribution network, a clean and reliable energy, appliances that are both performant and efficient – these are just some of the advantages of adding a touch of Blue to your company. Natural gas is profitable. Through its commercial programs, Énergir provides financial assistance so that you can purchase and install new natural gas equipment.
What are the steps for connecting to the natural gas grid?
Consult the steps to be taken to have your company or home connected to the natural gas network if it is found that the natural gas network is available to serve your home.
How do I switch my current heating system to a natural gas one or install new natural gas appliances?
To switch your central heating system to a natural gas one, please contact Énergir at 1 800 567-1313. One of our representative will make sure that natural gas is available in your region and will refer you to a commercial representative.
What are your financial programs for my business?
In business, performance and profitability are closely related. This is why Énergir offers you different commercial and financial programs--to make your switch to natural gas simpler. Whether it is to install, to modernize or to switch your equipment to natural gas ones, our programs will allow you to adopt the source of energy of business people, with peace of mind and no complications. Consult the section on commercial grants for details.
Who are the Énergir Certified Natural Gas Partner?
You should only get your natural gas appliances installed by qualified contractors who hold a licence from the Régie du bâtiment and who are members of the Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec. Énergir Certified Natural Gas Partne meet these requirements and are trained by Énergir.
Residential - Find an Énergir Certified Natural Gas Partne
Business - Find an Énergir Certified Natural Gas Partne
Is natural gas less expensive than fuel oil or electricity?
Natural gas is still less expensive than fuel oil. Compared to electricity, it is also less expensive for large volumes and is almost on an even footing in the rest of the business market. For more information, consult the Price section.
What is going to happen to natural gas price?
The financial markets (CMA Group) agree that its price will stay low for the next 10 years. However, Énergir's professionals closely watch market conditions on a daily basis so they can purchase natural gas as cheaply as possible and store it for future use.
How can I reduce energy consumption?
Reducing your energy consumption is much easier than you may think. Here are some simple tips to carry out.
What are the Énergir's rates?
A number of elements make up the Énergir natural gas bill. The company does not make any profit from supplying natural gas, but rather from distributing it. To learn more, consult the section on Énergir rates.
Can I enroll for the fixed price supply service if I am already using a natural gas supplier other than Énergir?
Yes. However, enrolling in the supply service may involve suspending the contract you currently have with your supplier, which can result in a financial penalty. Make sure you take into consideration the full extent of any consequences before asking to enroll for the fixed price supply service.
If I have already signed, can I change my mind?
Yes. Under the conditions of the fixed rate supply service, Énergir will send you a confirmation sheet, which you must sign to confirm your enrollment to the fixed price natural gas service, as well as the duration and price terms of the agreement. From the moment this confirmation sheet is mailed to you, you have 15 days to return it to us. If you do not complete and return the written confirmation within the prescribed timeframe, the agreement will be cancelled at no charge. However, if you signed a document other than this undertaking document, you may have contracted obligations toward your supplier that Énergir will not be able to cancel. Please make sure to read and understand all documents before signing them.
Can the price change during the agreement period?
It depends on the quantity of gas you consume. – If your annual consumption1 is less than 75,000 m3, you have no obligation with respect to the quantity of natural gas that will be billed to you at the fixed price supply tariff, and the supplier must maintain its price for the duration of the agreement without any possibility of changes. – If your annual consumption1 is equal to or greater than 75,000 m3, the supplier may ask you to agree to an arrangement dependent on factors other than the price or duration. These other terms will then be subject to a contract binding you and the supplier directly, without any engagement or responsibility for their application on the part of Énergir. For example, these other measures could stipulate a consumption minimum. In the event of a discrepancy between your actual consumption and that agreed upon, the supplier can adjust its price annually on the anniversary date of the agreement. A supplier that has had to modify its gas purchases to serve you could adjust its price to reflect the change in volumes. When making a price change, the supplier must obtain your consent and have you sign a new agreement reflecting the new terms. This way, the supplier will then notify Énergir of the new price. In such an event, Énergir will send you a new confirmation letter to confirm the change in the price agreed upon by you and the natural gas supplier. You will have a grace period to think it over similar to the period accorded to you upon enrolling in the service (15 days).
1 The consumption considered will be your standardized annual consumption, adjusted to the temperature of a normal winter, as calculated for the purpose of gas requisitions at the time of your enrollment to the service.
What are the eligibility criteria for this service?
- Have an annual consumption of natural gas that is higher than 7,500 m3 but less than 1,168,000 m3.
- If you now use the variable price supply service from Énergir, you must have been a customer for at least 12 months.
What happens if the supplier can not respect its commitment?
It is important to point out that the fixed price can not be guaranteed by Énergir. If your supplier is no longer in a position to respect its commitment, Énergir will provide you with natural gas and bill you at the variable price.
What steps do I take to receive this new fixed price service from Énergir?
- First confirm that you are eligible for this service by verifying the eligibility criteria listed below.
- Choose a natural gas supplier other than Énergir. The list of participating suppliers is available on our Web site or by mail upon request at the following address: 1717, rue du Havre, Montréal H2K 2X3.
- Sign an undertaking document with the supplier of your choice. This service offer is valid at anytime. We ask you to comply with the transmission delay of the undertaking document, between 60 and 120 days.
What is the purpose of the Énergir undertaking document?
The undertaking document is a standard form proposed to the Régie de l'énergie by Énergir. It tells Énergir which supplier you wish to purchase your natural gas from. The document also confirms the contracted price for natural gas and compressor fuel supply as well as the duration of the agreement you entered into with this supplier. Upon signing, the supplier will forward it to us. Once the undertaking document has been received, Énergir purchases a quantity equivalent to your annual natural gas consumption from the supplier of your choice at the price you have agreed to and resells it to you at that same price. You will continue to receive a single monthly bill from Énergir. This bill will include the price for natural gas supply and compressor fuel supply purchased from the supplier of your choice. IMPORTANT: The signed document must be sent at least 60 days (and no more than 120 days) before the beginning of fixed price natural gas deliveries. Fixed price supply service will always commence on the 1st day of the month following the 60 days prior notice.Therefore, be sure to begin the process early enough to allow Énergir and the supplier to set the measures in motion to ensure your fixed price delivery when you want it.
What do I need to know to choose a natural gas supplier?
Before choosing a natural gas supplier, find out the relevant information about the company. Inform yourself of the specifics of the agreement, such as: - Is the supplier asking you to enter into contractual obligations other than for the price and duration of the agreement? (Ex: Is he asking you to agree to a minimum volume of consumption?) - Are the standards for comparisons between prices equivalent? (Ex: Are the periods being compared the same?) - What are the conditions for terminating the agreement? (Ex: Does the supplier specify penalties for ending the agreement or moving?) For all intents and purposes, exercise as much caution as you would when signing any other contract.
What is the variable price supply service?
The variable price supply service and compressor fuel are provided directly by Énergir and billed according to a rate that varies on a monthly basis, to reflect fluctuations in market price. Énergir does not make a profit on these two services. You are thus sure of paying the real market price.
What is the new fixed price supply service?
The fixed price supply services is a new option offered by natural gas suppliers, allowing you to opt for a fixed price for natural gas supply service from a participating supplier of your choosing. This service allows you to anticipate your energy costs by fixing your price for a set period (on a 12-month multiple basis).
Is there a fee for selecting the fixed price supply service?
Énergir will not bill any fees for the use of this service.
Does a natural gas supplier need a specific permit?
No. For the time being, a Québec company operating as a natural gas reseller does not require a special permit to engage in this activity. However, under certain circumstances, such a company might be required to have a permit from the Office de la protection du consommateur. This is the case when a company makes itinerant sales to individual customers. Before entering into discussions with anyone, make sure that the person you are dealing with clearly identifies themselves. If the company soliciting you states that they hold a permit from the Office de la protection du consommateur, ask for proof of its validity.
Can Énergir offer this natural gas fixed price supply service directly to its customers?
No. Only natural gas suppliers are entitled to offer the fixed price supply service. Énergir's role is to acquire natural gas for the chosen supplier at the chosen price and resell it to you, the consumer.
How do I choose between a fixed or a variable price for natural gas supply?
You are entirely free to make your own choice between these two options. The choice between a fixed or variable price depends simply on your needs and objectives. If you are looking for a stable and predictable price, the new fixed price supply service will certainly meet your needs. By doing so, you are protecting yourself from possible fluctuations in the market cost of natural gas. If you choose not to opt for fixed price service, your natural gas will continue to be supplied by Énergir. Moreover, the cost of supply billed to you will continue to vary monthly as it does currently.
What rules are suppliers bound by?
All suppliers who participate in this service have agreed to respect the minimal commercial practices established by Énergir. If you believe that a supplier has not respected its commitment to follow these guidelines, please contact Énergir's customer service department at the phone number that appears on your bill.
Who can sign such an agreement?
You can sign a fixed price supply agreement whether you rent or own a property. You simply need to be the person directly responsible for paying for gas supplied by Énergir.
What happens at the end of the period covered by the fixed price agreement?
To enroll again into the fixed price supply service, you must undertake the same steps as the first time and transmit the document at least 60 days (and no more than 120 days) before the end of your current agreement. You must sign a “confirmation sheet” within 15 days to confirm your new enrollment to the fixed price natural gas service. Conversely, you can also choose to return to Énergir's variable price supply service. If you choose to return to the variable price supply service, it is important to know that you must use the variable price supply service for at least 12 months before once again having the opportunity to enroll in a new fixed price service agreement. IMPORTANT: you will automatically revert to the variable supply service, if you do not take the necessary steps.
How do I change my address?
Let us know that you are moving by filling out the change of address form. It is important for you and for us. As opposed to several other companies, Énergir does not charge any file front-end fees or shutdown costs to clients who move or sign up.
Is the Énergir bill available on-line?
With the Customer Space, you can consult your file, your consumption history, as well as the state of your account over the past 30 months. You can request to stop receiving your bill in paper format and choose the payment option that best suits you. The Customer Space also allows you to pay your bills on-line, be it through the site of your financial institution.
What are your payment options?
Rather than paying different quantities depending on the amount of natural gas that you consume, balance your natural gas consumption budget for a whole year with the Equal Payment Plan (EPP). The Pre-authorized Payments Plan (PAPP) is also offered and ensures you that your bill will be paid on time, directly from your account at your financial institution. To select your payment options, visit the Customer Space.
How do I contact a business market representative?
Énergir representatives have assigned regions. With the help of the following search engine, you can find the commercial, industrial, and institutional representative in your area.
What should I do before excavating?
Before starting any work that calls for digging, be it to install a pool, fence or patio, you or your contractor must contact Info-Excavation : Online Locate Request with Info-ex or 1 800 663-9228. It's free!
What do I do in the event of a leak?
Avoid flames and sparks. Do not smoke. Do not turn on any appliance near the leak, not even a cell phone or a light switch – static electricity could produce a spark.
Leave the building immediately or move well away from the leak. if you are already outdoors.Without delaying your exit, on your way out, you could open doors and windows (or leave them open) to ensure maximum ventilation.
Call 9-1-1. If this service is not available in your region, call 1 800 361-8003.
Is natural gas safe?
Natural gas is one of the safest sources of energy there is. In Québec, nearly 200,000 customers, including a high percentage of schools, hospitals, businesses and large companies, use it every day.
Where does natural gas come from?
The natural gas consumed in Québec is purchased from two gas hubs: Empress, in Alberta, and Dawn, in Ontario. These hubs in turn are supplied by production basins located in Canada and the United States: Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB); U.S. Rockies; Mid-Continent; Marcellus; and Gulf of Mexico. A small quantity of natural gas originates from Québec and is produced by means of residual waste reclamation (biomethane).
What is natural gas composed of?
Natural gas is the cleanest of all fossil sources of energy. It emits less CO2
, fewer pollutants and fine particles, all responsible for smog, acid rain and global warming. The composition of natural gas is 95% methane, almost 4% ethane and nitrogen, and 1% carbon dioxide and propane. It is produced by the natural transformation of organic materials over millions of years.
Does natural gas harm the environment?
Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel. When burned, it produces less pollution than petrolium, oil or carbon. Moreover, natural gas does not contain sulfur, a prime culprit in the acid rain dilemma.
What is the difference between natural gas and propane gas?
Natural gas is lighter than air and therefore does not accumulate on the ground like propane gas, making it a much safer source of energy. Furthermore, natural gas is supplied to clients by way of an underground distribution grid. Conversely, propane gas is stored in carboys that must be replenished.
Is natural gas toxic?
Natural gas is a safe, non-toxic source of energy. Medical research has shown that the human being can breathe air with a natural gas concentration of 25% without there being harmful effects. It is the lack of oxygen in the air, and not the natural gas, that may cause illness.