OTTAWA, June 8, 2016 /CNW/ - The Canadian Gas Association says the Ontario Climate Action Plan released today does not state that natural gas use will be phased out by 2030 – an improvement on a leaked earlier draft of the plan. However, it leaves uncertain whether there remains any such phase out strategy for the longer term.
"It will be essential for the Ontario Government to work closely with industry on possible changes to the building codes and new concepts such as a 'net zero carbon home'. Consultation with the sector prior to January 1, 2017 will be critical to clarify the future role of natural gas in order to provide the investment certainty required by consumers, businesses and gas utilities," said Timothy M. Egan, President and CEO of the Canadian Gas Association.
Gas utilities, and the use of natural gas, have again and again been the most cost-effective means to reduce emissions.
"We recognize the government's investment in renewable natural gas and natural gas for transportation in this plan. The cost per tonne of reduced emissions with these initiatives is very low by comparison to other options, demonstrating that gas innovation should be more prominently featured. Ontario's gas utilities have been leaders in driving energy efficiency and reducing emissions while keeping energy affordable and this leadership should be built upon," noted Egan.
"Affordability remains an ongoing concern" added Egan. "Natural gas rate-payers will now be asked to foot the bill for billions of dollars over the next several years to underwrite a range of initiatives. We want to ensure that what is delivered back to them is the most cost effective option to build on their existing natural gas use."
"Ontario's industry, our commercial institutions, our homeowners have watched electricity prices rise steadily for too long: if government is now about to do the same with natural gas costs, without clear benefits, we will lose opportunity, jobs, and the sustainable future we all desire."
The Canadian Gas Association (CGA) is the voice of Canada's natural gas distribution industry and its members are distribution companies, transmission companies, equipment manufacturers and other service providers. Natural gas has a central place in Canada's energy mix meeting over 30 per cent of the country's energy needs. Today over 6.6 million customers representing well over 20 million Canadians rely on natural gas for heat and power in homes, apartments, buildings, businesses, hospitals and schools.
Industry at a Glance
SOURCE Canadian Gas Association
For further information: Paula Dunlop, Director, Public and Government Affairs, Canadian Gas Association, 613-748-0057 x341, 613-614-3280