Direct Energy natural gas plan (Ontario, Canada) - list of overcharge noticed


Hi, All.
We are in Ontario, Canada and are serviced by Union gas for home heating and I had been locking natural gas price through Direct Energy.
After first five years terms, we re-locked the price at 31.2 cents per cubic meter about 2-3 years ago. And as u all know, natural price had plummeted to point lowest in 7 years. Union gas natural gas price (for those without Direct energy) is at 19.84 cents per cubic meter. Well, sucks me and those who locked it anywhere above 25 cents per cubic meter.
But those rants aside, I came across the fact that Direct Energy raised transportation charge from 4.9 c/m3 at beginning of 2008 to 5.9 c/m3 and then again to 6.9 c/m3 in may of 2008. In terms of storage charge, they raised to ~1 c/m3 to ~2 c/m3 back in Aug of 2008.
Well because of obvious reason (operation cost, gas used for transportation), those prices had to go up but Union gas provides it at 4.27 c/m3 for transportation and ~1 c/m3 for storage as of Jan 2010.
In fact, just two years ago, difference between union gas and direct energy for transportation fee was not that much and storage fee were nearly even.
I understand needs of transportation/storage for gas delivered by Direct Energy from supplier to Union gas would be different than transportation/storage needs of Union gas but it was very similar two years ago.
Now difference from combined expense is nearly 3 cents per cubic meter, I have to think that Direct Energy who tried to keep it at level w Union Gas/Embridge is now trying to squeeze extra profits out of it by passing the cost onto customers who never agreed on overpaying for transportation/storage fee other than agreeing on fixed gas price.
I have filed complaints to customer service but I am wondering how many of u out there are having same problems and if there is anyone with suggestions on how to pursuit this if customer service guys will not be willing to resolve this.
-J
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Here in the USA, there are state regulatory boards (Public Utility Commissions) that have to approve rate increases for natural gas and for transportation of natural gas. The local comsumer organizations have been the watchdogs with the states Public Utility Commissions and won a few battles. The local organizations are also warning consumers about getting locked into supply costs that come back to haunt the signers like you have described. DOn't know how things work up north in CAnada..
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On Thu, 28 Jan 2010 18:26:15 -0800 (PST), "hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net"

Anyone who deals with Direct Energy is going to get screwed - one way or another. Anyone who has dealt with them in the last 5-8 years hasn't done their homework, because there have been MANY reports of their chicanery in the news and just about anywhere else ever sice Ontario deregulated natural gas - and it's just snowballed since electricity was also de-regulated. many original gas contracts automatically tied you to them for electricity too as soon as electricity de-regulated.
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You have a gas contract, read it, its all there in minature print. I bet there is nothing crooked being done, delivery charges are going up where I am
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On Thu, 28 Jan 2010 18:32:55 -0800 (PST), ransley

bending them to the limit - it's all part of that "free market economy" and "capitalism" I was talking about in another post.
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If you have heard the news, Ontario Hydro is the next one to hit you with extra charges.
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On Thu, 28 Jan 2010 22:16:09 -0500, "EXT"

Actually there is no such thing as Ontario Hydro any more. There is OPG, Hydro One, and the local hydro utilities.
But when time of use charges go into effect with the SmartMeter those possible savings will NOT be available to the poor suckers tied to Direct Enery and most of the other re-marketers.
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What savings, only the politicians claimed we would be able to save money. Now it appears that you and I will get to pay current rates plus any added price increases for power used in the wee hours of the day, while prime time in early evening will be off the charts in cost and daytime rates will only be exorbitant when we will be trying to cool our houses with our air conditioners and run our businesses. Of course power rates will have to go up to pay for these so called SmartMeters.
Yes, Ontario Hydro changed its name to convince us that it is different, but after many decades my feeble old brain still calls up the old name when I want to refer to them.
Direct Energy -- I avoid them. I love to watch their student door-to-door sales reps go running after they give me a misleading sales pitch to try to get me to sign a Natural Gas contract. I flash my Enbridge/Consumers Gas I.D. card at them as I tell them that they are not going to look at my gas bill.
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You bargined for a stable price and you got what you asked . Circumstance could have been that the price would have gone up annd you would be saving a lot of money. Unfortunately for you tha tis not what happened. I bet your contract has nothing to do with any other fee than the cost of the gas.
Jimmie
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On Thu, 28 Jan 2010 19:18:18 -0800 (PST), JIMMIE

You pay a per unit price for the gas, a transportation/distribution fee, and a service fee.
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On 1/28/10 4:30 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You will never catch me signing up for one of these re-marketers. Twice now my 78 year old dad has been swindled in to signing a contract and twice I have had to get him out of it within the 10 day cooling off period (a law in BC that gives a person 10 days to bow out of a contract before it becomes binding). The last time I helped him he was looking at signing on for 5 years at a cost of $2800.00 more over the life of the contract (at the current rates). Add that to the additional $2200.00 I saved him from doing the same thing 4 years ago and there is $5000.00 of my inheritance I have protected from a less than reputable business (the door to door solicitors they use talk out of their ass and somehow make it smell like roses).
When ever they show up at my door they get an abrupt no thanks (SLAM)!
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wrote:

I am expecting to sell my home in the next few years due to development around me, if you read your contract, which most people don't, you will find that it is for 5 years and non-cancelable without a stiff penalty, even if you sell the house.
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Actually, I double checked that Direct Energy (not sure about other companies) would not charge termination fee (those huge penalty) if we prove we sell the house and move to place where natural gas is not needed. (rental property, condomidium). For those who are actually selling house, should consider moving into rental property for awhile to get rid of Direct Energy and then buy a house to move to.
To all, point of my post was not the fact I want to do do anything about fixed GAS price I was locked on. I betted on the fact natural gas to at least go up and I failed, simple as that. It's about extra profit they are trying to make from transportation/storage charge by raising them over the level of what Union gas/Enbridge charges. Actual damage from these two charges is like $80~$160 per year depends on how much heating u use but the fact these independant gas re-suppliers are now trying to profit from the area away from gas contract itself is scary and not fair to consumers.
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