Union Gas Calls on Province to Ease Impact of Cap-and-Trade on Households and Small Businesses

Cost for a small business could climb to over $900,000 a year by 2030

CHATHAM, ON, Feb. 25, 2016 /CNW/ - Union Gas is concerned that households and small businesses will bear most of the estimated $1.9 billion annual cost for the provincial government's proposed cap-and-trade framework. The draft framework excludes measures put forth by the gas distributor that could ease the burden for consumers. According to ICF International, experts in carbon pricing analysis, there will be an immediate impact on natural gas and gasoline costs for households and businesses that will grow over time:

  • Households: about $160/year in 2017, increasing to over $850 by 2030
  • Small businesses: about $170,000 a year in 2017, increasing to over $900,000 by 2030
  • And there will be added costs for necessities like food which rely on carbon-based energy for their production and distribution

Quotes:

"Ontario has one of the cleanest electricity systems in the world, now that we have moved off coal-fired electricity generation and built new renewable wind and solar generation. This has resulted in significant increases in the price of electricity, which is why we need a gradual transition into carbon pricing," said Steve Baker, president of Union Gas.  "Initial cost-free allowances for natural gas distributors and a slight delay to 2018 for implementation, similar to what was done in California and Quebec, will give consumers time to better understand the changes and to make the behavioural adjustments necessary for the government's new emission reduction measures to begin to have an effect." 

"Union Gas supports the transition to a lower-carbon economy. Immediate emission reductions can be achieved through expanded energy-efficiency activities and by using affordable natural gas used in place of more carbon-intense fuels. Examples of this include liquefied natural gas for heavy-duty transportation, investing in renewable natural gas from landfills and allowing Combined Heat and Power applications for businesses," said Steve Baker, president of Union Gas.  "Including smart investments in these natural gas technologies can help achieve the balance between protecting the environment and protecting Ontario families as we move forward."

"We hope to work constructively with the provincial government toward a final framework that will help achieve our environmental goals without sacrificing the social and economic well-being of the province," said Steve Baker, president of Union Gas.  "I encourage Ontario citizens to learn more about how cap-and-trade will affect them and to speak out on this important issue."

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 billion and approximately 2,300 employees. For more information, visit uniongas.com or follow us on twitter.com/uniongas, facebook.com/uniongas and youtube.com/user/uniongas.

SOURCE Union Gas Limited

For further information: Union Gas Limited: Andrea Stass, Manager, External Communications and Media Relations, Ph: 519 436-5490 or 1-800-571-8446 ext. 5005490, Cell: 519 365-1010, Fax: 519 436-4621, astass@uniongas.com

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