Ontario Lowering Heating Costs by Expanding Access to Natural Gas
Province Announces 11 Communities for New Service
Ontario is helping to significantly lower heating costs for thousands of families and businesses in rural, northern and First Nations communities by expanding access to natural gas. The move is expected to save families as much as $1,100 every year.
Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Minister Responsible for Small Business, was joined by Lou Rinaldi, MPP for Northumberland--Quinte West, in the Hiawatha First Nation on behalf of Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure, to announce projects selected to receive funding to build the supporting natural gas infrastructure and expand access to natural gas, pending regulatory approvals for construction. This includes moving forward on constructing a natural gas distribution pipeline to connect homes and businesses in the Hiawatha First Nation and areas of the Township of Otonabee-South Monaghan. Natural gas service will help attract new industry, make commercial transportation and agriculture more affordable, provide a cleaner source of energy, reduce costs and support greater consumer choice.
Expanding access to natural gas is part of Ontario's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 and over 65 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- The Natural Gas Grant Program launched in January 2017. The program will provide approximately $100 million to support projects in northern, rural and First Nations communities to help increase access to natural gas, and significantly lower heating costs.
- More than 11,300 homes and businesses are expected to be able to connect to natural gas through the supported projects.
- Natural gas is the dominant heating source in Ontario and continues to be consistently less expensive than alternative sources such as electricity, heating oil and propane.
“Access to natural gas will provide more affordable energy choices for Ontario’s rural, northern and First Nations businesses and families. Projects that we’re funding through the grant program will generate significant local investment, helping businesses grow and create new jobs, and helping families lower their heating bills.”
“Increasing access to natural gas is good news for Ontario’s agricultural sector and our rural, northern and Indigenous communities. These projects will have a positive impact on local economies, reduce energy costs and make a real difference in the everyday lives of residents and businesses.”
“Natural gas access is a critical driver of economic development, affordability and quality of life in communities like Hiawatha First Nation, and we support Minister Chiarelli’s efforts to bring natural gas to more communities.”
“We are very pleased that a number of Ontario communities are now a step closer to accessing natural gas – a reliable and affordable source of energy to keep families warm and to support the growth of local businesses and industry. We appreciate Minister’s Chiarelli’s support and leadership in making this a reality. There was an overwhelming interest in the Natural Gas Grant Program and we are committed to work with government to help even more communities access natural gas in the future.”