Natural Gas is Needed to Meet Ontario's Environmental And Economic Goals
Switch to electric heat will cost households thousands
CHATHAM, ON, MAY 17, 2016 - Union Gas supports the transition to a low-carbon economy, but the manner in which we achieve this goal should not be harmful to consumers and the Ontario Economy.
Ontario households and small businesses are responsible for a relatively small percentage of Ontario's greenhouse gas emissions, yet recent media reports on the draft Climate Change Action Plan suggest it will unfairly target them by forcing a switch from affordable natural gas to more expensive electric heat.
This prescriptive policy direction would cost Ontario households up to $3,000 a year more in higher energy costs. The effect on small and mid-size businesses will be even greater, placing them at a disadvantage relative to surrounding jurisdictions with which Ontario competes. In addition, any policy that forces customers to use electric heating will further increase the amount and cost of electric generation and related infrastructure necessary to meet this higher demand.
Affordable energy is essential to our quality of life and natural gas is, by far, the most affordable, energy. That’s why almost 80 per cent of Ontario homes and businesses choose it as a reliable source of heat.
A low-carbon future can be achieved without affecting the economic health of consumers and businesses within the province. Targeting the largest source of emissions – vehicles - through the use of cleaner and less expensive natural gas in place of diesel for heavy duty vehicle transportation, paired with the expanded use of renewable natural gas generated by landfills, can provide immediate and significant greenhouse gas reductions. And natural gas continues to be an essential partner for renewable energy, providing backup when the sun doesn't shine, and the wind doesn't blow.
There is a way to balance environmental goals and energy affordability for consumers and businesses. However, a mandate to force consumers off of natural gas in favour of a more expensive energy option by a specific date is not an effective way to achieve balance. A prescriptive energy policy that eliminates the use of natural gas by consumers and businesses will cause confusion and hardship for customers, investors and the public.
About Union Gas
Union Gas Limited is a major Canadian natural gas storage, transmission and distribution company based in Ontario with 100 years of experience and service to customers. The storage and transmission business offers a variety of storage and transportation services to customers at the Dawn Hub, the fastest growing liquid market hub in North America with the largest underground storage facility in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The Dawn Hub offers customers an important link in the movement of natural gas from Western Canadian and U.S. supply basins to markets in central Canada and the northeast U.S. One of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2016, Union Gas is a Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE) company with assets of $7.2 billion and approximately 2,300 employees. For more information, visit uniongas.com.
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