Ontario Expanding Natural Gas to More Communities
Making Life More Affordable for Individuals, Families and Businesses on Scugog Island
PORT PERRY — Ontario is expanding access to natural gas throughout rural, northern Ontario and Indigenous communities with the launch of the next phase of the Natural Gas Expansion Program.
Bill Walker, Associate Minister of Energy, announced today that construction work has officially started to build a natural gas distribution pipeline and facilities to serve Scugog Island after it was granted approval from the Ontario Energy Board (OEB).
As part of the government's plan to make life more affordable for people and their families, the average household in Scugog Island could save $800 to $2,500 per year in energy costs as they switch from costlier fuel sources. An estimated 780 homes and 30 businesses are projected to be connected.
"By expanding access to natural gas, our government is putting more money in people's pockets," said Associate Minister Walker. "Expanding natural gas access will help make Scugog Island more attractive for job creation and new business growth and sends the clear message that Ontario is open for business."
Building on the success of the Natural Gas Expansion Program, the OEB is now collecting information about natural gas expansion opportunities across Ontario to develop a report on eligible projects for the ministry. The OEB will deliver its report to the government by August 2020, after which a final decision will be made on future expansion projects eligible to receive support through the Ontario government's Natural Gas Expansion Program.
"Expanding access to natural gas on Scugog Island will provide our community with a more affordable and environmentally friendly way to heat our homes and businesses. I would like to thank Minister Walker and the provincial government for assisting rural areas and First Nations through their Natural Gas Expansion Program," said Chief Kelly LaRocca, Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.
"Today we thank the Province and Enbridge for the Natural Gas Expansion Program to Scugog Island. We celebrate that the construction is now underway and that very soon residents and businesses on Scugog Island will have the opportunity to connect to natural gas, bringing lower energy prices to many," said Bobbie Drew, Mayor of the Township of Scugog.
"We are committed to providing the energy that Ontario residents want and need," said Jim Sanders, Senior Vice President, Operations, Enbridge Gas Inc. "Natural gas is the most affordable way to heat buildings and water, and we're excited to have started construction on Scugog Island so residents can take advantage of the cost savings, and local businesses can be more competitive. We look forward to working with the government to continue to expand access to safe, reliable, and abundant natural gas, which is essential to Ontario's rural, northern and Indigenous communities."
- The Natural Gas Expansion Program will allocate up to $130 million to support new natural gas expansion projects over a three-year period from 2021 to 2023.
- Since its launch in 2019, the Natural Gas Expansion Program has made several projects eligible for financial support. These projects are expected to connect over 9,000 customers in 16 communities to natural gas.
- The Scugog Island project, developed by Enbridge under the first phase of the program, will benefit from up to $6.42 million in eligible funding to expand natural gas access.