Heating with Natural Gas vs. Electricity in BC (Canada)

Update/Correction: The author of the blog post noted in one list:

BASIC CHARGE ($0.4065/day) = 148.37

And didn’t carry it the list with the total.

And the delivery charge is 4.296 per GJ = 429.60 (100GJ for the year)

  1. DELIVERY CHARGE = $429.60
  2. BASIC CHARGE ($0.4065/day) = 148.37
  4. COST OF THE GAS = $154.90
  6. CARBON TAX = $173.82
  7. CLEAN ENERGY LEVY = $2.64
  8. GST = $42.73

GAS total corrected to: 1048.26

Not quite as dramatic a difference … but still huge.

  • End of Correction
  • Original post below

Great blog article comparing Heating with Natural Gas vs. Electricity in BC

The conclusion: Gas Wins at 1/4 of the price.

You pay more in GST for electricity than the actual cost of the gas.


A typical home in the southern interior will use 100 GJ (or 27,778kWh)  of energy to heat for a year. Smaller homes and more efficient furnaces can improve on this number, as can global warming because of warmer winters. Bigger homes or poorly insulated homes will use more.

Assuming that you require 100 GJ of heat for your home for the year, your gas costs will be:

  1. DELIVERY CHARGE = $42.96
  3. COST OF THE GAS = $154.90
  5. CARBON TAX = $173.82
  6. CLEAN ENERGY LEVY = $2.64
  7. GST = $42.73

TOTAL = $899.89

Using traditional baseboard heaters, the same amount of energy would cost you over $4,000/year with BC Hydro.

  1. 27,778 kWh at $0.13260/kWh = $3,683.34
  2. RATE RIDER = $184.17
  3. GST = 193.38

TOTAL = $4,060.88


6 thoughts on “Heating with Natural Gas vs. Electricity in BC (Canada)

  1. Would be better still if the numbers were added correctly. The gas costs total about $514, not $899,90. Perhaps there is a typo, but this does not inspire confidence.

    1. “In both examples above the basic rate, customer crisis charge, and applicable taxes are ignored because because they represent the fixed cost of having an account. These costs are significantly higher for gas ($161.20) than for electricity ($81.85).”

      1. That helps, but the difference is $386 between the $900 quoted for gas and the $514 sum of the listed costs. So there is still a $225 discrepancy to be explained even after factoring in the ‘crisis charge’.

        As noted, it does not inspire confidence when the numbers don’t foot and it is frankly worse if large sums are frogmarched out of the accounting.

  2. Yes, it was a typo (my apologies), but you can be rest assured that I did use the correct figure in my calculator. The original figure of $899.89 still stands.

    The reason why I ignored the “basic charge” is that that you get charged that amount no matter how much or how little gas you use. Yes, I could just do away with gas all together, but then I’d have to ditch my hot water heater, my range, my BBQ, and my fireplace, and pay 4.5 times as much operating them on electricity.

    The goal of my exercise was to exclude all fixed costs, and focus only on the per unit of energy cost of electricity versus natural gas.

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