TORONTO, Nov. 18, 2016 /CNW/ - Superior Propane, Canada's largest propane provider, responded positively to today's decision by the Ontario Energy Board to limit the ability of natural gas distributors to levy existing consumers for expansion projects and to require any system extensions to be self-financing.
During the hearing process, the propane industry warned that allowing gas utilities to finance expansion on the backs of existing ratepayers would mean higher prices for Ontario consumers for years to come. The board heard these concerns and determined that the utilities, not ratepayers, should bear the risk if customer uptake does not live up to forecasts.
"Had the OEB decided to allow the utilities to levy existing ratepayers, it would have led to unsustainable long-term costs to consumers and government," said Superior Propane President Greg McCamus. "Worse, it would have set a precedent for future expansion and therefore, even more expensive bills for existing ratepayers in the future".
The simplistic view that natural gas infrastructure should expand at all costs does not account for the fact that propane is readily available in rural areas today and has a comparable carbon footprint to natural gas.
As members of the industry pointed out during the hearing process, propane provides a ready, off-the-shelf, affordable solution for home heating in the province and when the multi-million-dollar capital costs of infrastructure expansion are factored in, any potential savings to consumers by switching fuels is virtually eliminated.
"Low-emission propane is readily available in rural areas today, has a comparable carbon footprint to natural gas and requires no major infrastructure investment to reach homes and businesses", said McCamus. "We are encouraged to learn that Ontario consumers will not be forced to subsidize expensive expansions and remain eager to serve rural and remote consumers across Ontario with home heat and fuel for farm equipment and vehicle fleets".
Superior Propane is encouraged by the increased level of consultation by government with energy industry participants and looks forward to working collaboratively with the government, particularly as the province embarks on creating a long-term energy plan for 2017.
About Superior Propane
Superior Propane is Canada's only national provider of portable fuels, equipment and service delivered locally to residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial customers in over 10,000 communities nationwide. In business since 1951, Superior is headquartered in Mississauga, ON and is part of the Energy Services division of Superior Plus LP (TSX: SPB). Superior Propane employs more than 1,000 Canadians and delivers over 1.2 billion litres of propane annually.
SOURCE Superior Propane
Image with caption: "Superior Propane (CNW Group/Superior Propane)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161118_C4147_PHOTO_EN_822337.jpg
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