What is a Gas Co-op?
SANG is a Member Owned utility company that sells natural gas to a rural franchised area. A co-op operates for the benefit of its members. Members meet once a year to elect a board consisting of nine Directors. The Directors in turn, hire management to manage the day-to-day affairs in a way that serves the members' interests. Unlike investor owned Utilities (ATCO) profits go back into the Co-op.
Is there a fee to become a member of the SANG Co-op?
The fee for membership is $1.00. To become a member one must purchase land with SANG gas lines already on the property or have lines installed; a meter is not required to become a member. Membership is concluded when title to land is sold or transferred. This non-refundable membership fee entitles the member to one vote at the Annual General Meeting. Even if you own multiple properties you are entitled to only one vote. Please note, there are also other account set up fees when land is sold or transferred.
Are shares/dividends given to members?
No. As per supplemental By-law #10 "The Association shall use any surplus earnings of the Association for the attainment of the objects of the Association and no distribution shall be made to the Association's members". Co-ops are "not for profit" so any revenue will be used for maintenance and upgrades to the system of lines and stations.
Where does SANG purchase gas from?
Gas Alberta Inc, which is owned by all of the Gas Co-ops in Alberta, purchases the natural gas on our behalf from various energy companies in Alberta.
What is the markup on gas?
Markup is the variable portion of your gas bill called the "Flow Rate". This rate is charged per Gj (gigajoule) burned monthly. The "Flow Rate" is SANG Co-op's equivalent to other utility companies' variable distribution or delivery charges. To find the current "Flow Rate", either refer to the Current Details portion of your bill or the Fees Schedule section of the website.
What does the monthly fixed fee cover?
The monthly fixed fee is SANG Co-op's equivalent to other companies' fixed distribution charge, admin and billing fees, and etc. combined into one charge. The fixed charge is in place to cover costs to the co-op including but not limited to infrastructure, gas line insurance, maintenance and expansions, admin and billing functions, and all other operating costs. To find the current fixed charge with refer to the Current Details portion of your most recent monthly gas bill or the Fees Schedule section of the website. Please note, once gas lines are installed the fixed charge is billed regardless if there is a meter installed or not.
How are the gas rates set?
The gas rate as shown on your monthly gas bill is the bare cost of natural gas. This cost is set by Gas Alberta Inc. (the private corporation that exclusively supplies gas to the 79 co-ops, municipalities, counties and First Nations including SANG, that own the company) effected by the supply and demand on a monthly basis.
The "Flow Rate" or markup, as well as the monthly fixed charge are based upon the budget approved by SANG Co-op's Board of Directors.
Why does the price of natural gas fluctuate?
The price of natural gas is affected by the supply and demand in North America, primarily the weather on the east coast of the USA.
Is the natural gas industry regulated?
The AUC (Alberta Utilities Commission), Rural Utilities and the AER (Alberta Energy Regulator) regulate exploration, production, processing, transmission and distribution of natural gas within Alberta.
What is required to get a meter hung?
After the new gas line is installed the new Member is asked to contact the Co-op when ready. As a minimum the gas lines and venting must be completed to code. A copy of a valid gas permit needs to be sent to the office and the gas lines need to be air tested and witnessed. More details are available by calling the Service Department.
What will be required to convert to natural gas from propane?
Each appliance is different and SANG advises that a qualified Technician converts the appliance.
Why does my meter have to be replaced so frequently?
Your meter is sent in for recalibration to an accredited meter test shop every 7-10 years as per Measurement Canada. Another meter will be hung and information will be reflected on your bill.
What is AMR and how does it work?
AMR is an acronym for Automated Meter Reading. SANG meters have been changed/modified to send meter reads through a radio signal collected by a contracted meter reading specialist. Members with AMR are no longer required to submit a meter reading as it is collected automatically. You may reference your meter readings on the mid-section of your bill.
The meter reads are now collected primarily by flying overhead (a number of other gas co-ops and utilities companies in the area have also signed on with this program). There is a device on the meter called an ERT which sends out a signal with the read to the collection device on the plane. Once these reads have been collected they are sent to SANG and loaded into the billing program.
What is the timeline for a new install?
Many factors contribute to the time it takes to get a new service; distance, location, Utility Right of Way, Third party land owner permissions and crossing agreements. To avoid any delay, application for utilities should be one of the first things done when building. Have your land title and make application as soon as possible.
How do I know if I have a gas leak?
Natural gas is odorized by a chemical called Mercaptan which adds a distinctive smell to help you detect any leaks. If you smell gas please follow these steps immediately:
- 1. DO NOT smoke, light matches, operate electrical switches, use cell phones or create any other source of ignition.
- 2. Leave the building immediately. Leave the door open and any windows that may already be open.
- 3. Call the 24 hour Emergency Line at 780-967-2246 or 1-800-290-5491.
How do I shut off my meter?
Turn your gas off at the main shut-off valve located upstream of the gas meter by using a wrench or another suitable tool. Give the valve a quarter turn in either direction so that it is crosswise to the pipe.
What is Carbon Monoxide and how do I detect it?
Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless toxic gas. When inhaled it interferes with the blood's ability to absorb and transport oxygen. Common signs of exposure to CO include flu-like symptoms, frontal headaches, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, confusion and even loss of consciousness. A CO alarm offers extra protection but is not a substitute for regular maintenance. If you suspect there is carbon monoxide in your home:
- 1. Remember the smaller the body mass the quicker the affects.
- 2. Open doors and windows to air out the area.
- 3. Get everyone including pets to fresh air immediately.
- 4. Seek medical advice immediately for physical symptoms.
- 5. Call SANG or 911 and have a registered gas contractor inspect your appliances.