2017-2018 Québec Government Budget: Concrete Measures to Support Québec's Economic Development and Energy Transition

MONTRÉAL, March 28, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Gaz Métro applauds the 2017-2018 budget's positive measures in line with Québec's energy transition, as presented earlier today by Québec Minister of Finance Carlos Leitão. Among various other measures, the Minister announced the renewal of the Écocamionnage (green trucking) program until 2020, and the enhancement of financial assistance for conversion to fuelling with natural gas. In addition, the $20.5 million budgetary envelope was continued so regions in Québec can have access to natural gas.

"We welcome the measures announced today by the Québec government. The Ecocamionnage program represents an important lever for reaching Québec's objectives in the fight against climate change, as it addresses Québec's highest-emitting sector, which is transportation. Heavy trucks that replace diesel with natural gas reduce their GHG emissions up to 25 percent. The envelope assigned to extending the gas network was also hoped for by many regions that wish to bring the environmental benefits of replacing oil by natural gas to their communities," stated Stéphanie Trudeau, Senior Vice President, Regulatory Framework, Customers and Communities, at Gaz Métro.

Écocamionnage program

The purpose of this green trucking program is to promote the use of equipment and technologies that improve energy efficiency while reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation of goods.

For the last several years, Gaz Métro has offered its customers the option of using natural gas as a fuel to power their fleet of heavy vehicles. Switching from diesel—widely used in the transportation industry—to natural gas allows for annual reductions of up to 35 tonnes of GHG per truck. By using renewable natural gas from organic wastes, up to 195 tonnes of GHG can be saved annually per truck.

The renewed Écocamionnage program will encourage transporters to convert their vehicle fleets by way of incentives: 30% of additional purchase costs of liquefied or compressed natural gas trucks will be reimbursed, which could add up to $30,000 in savings per heavy vehicle.

Financial assistance to promote access to natural gas

A total of $20.5 million in financial assistance with more flexible granting parameters will be available for promoting access to natural gas in regions that are not yet served. Note that in 2015, a budgetary envelope of $38 million was announced, of which $17.5 million helped make natural gas available in certain communities that needed it.

For example, this envelope contributed financing for the project that has extended the gas network in the Bellechasse region, enabling many municipalities to benefit from the environmental advantages of natural gas for their businesses and institutions, and to now be able to rely on natural gas as a lever for economic development.

About Gaz Métro
With more than $7 billion in assets, Gaz Métro is a leading energy provider. It is the largest natural gas distribution company in Québec, where its network of over 10,000 km of underground pipelines serves more than 300 municipalities and more than 200,000 customers. Gaz Métro is also present in Vermont, where it has more than 310,000 customers. There, it operates in the electricity production market and the electricity and natural gas distribution market. Gaz Métro is actively involved in developing and operating innovative, promising energy projects, including natural gas as fuel, liquefied natural gas as a replacement for higher emission-producing energies, the production of wind power and the development of biomethane. Gaz Métro is a major energy sector player that takes the lead in responding to the needs of its customers, regions and municipalities, local organizations, and communities while also satisfying the expectations of its Partners (GMi and Valener) and employees.

 

SOURCE Gaz Métro

For further information: Catherine Houde, Media and Public Relations, 514 598-3449, Choude@gazmetro.com

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