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    Worst winter in decades, but Natural Gas remains Ontario's most affordable energy option

    Ontario’s seemingly never-ending winter is finally showing some signs of letting up. This winter was exceptionally harsh and issued more than its fair share of frigid weather. In fact, it was the coldest Ontario winter in decades.

    Apart from forcing us all indoors more often, this spate of cold weather has also impacted the price of natural gas. Naturally, the colder it has been outside, the more we’ve relied on the natural gas storage, transmission and distribution system to keep our homes and businesses warm on the inside.

    As the market for natural gas fluctuates, and utilities purchase natural gas to meet our demands, adjustments to Ontarians’ bills occur quarterly. To put things in context, and despite this latest increase in rates, natural gas is still 50 per cent cheaper than it was in 2006 — about half the cost of oil and electricity for a typical Ontario residential customer (based on southwestern Ontario approved 2014 rates).

    – In 2013, average residential customers saved about $500, commercial customers saved $4,000, and industrial customers saved $1.8 million, compared to 2008.

    Forecasts show that despite fluctuations, prices are expected to remain low and affordable for decades to come.

    Moreover, due to discoveries of massive new supplies of natural gas in North America, combined with new technologies to aid in getting those supplies to market, the prospect for natural gas is as bright as it has ever been.

    *Ontario Natural Gas rates are regulated and approved by the Ontario Energy Board. For more information, please go to: http://www.ontarioenergyboard.ca/OEB/Consumers/Natural+Gas/Natural+Gas+Rates

     

    Despite a weather-related rise in rates, natural gas remains the most affordable option vs. other energy sources (Source: Union Gas)

  2. Categories: Uncategorized

    Google Think Insights Show that Canadians want Energy Information

    Natural gas is clean, affordable, reliable, and we believe that it’s the best energy for Ontario’s future. Canadians heard that message a little louder in 2013. We’ve seen a lot of news about natural gas throughout the past year, and combined with other conversations on the subject of energy, Canadians are paying closer attention to Canada’s energy supply. Statistics from Google Think Insights show that Canadian searches for energy information grew significantly in 2013. Searches for “pipeline safety” rose 183% and searches for “what is fracking?” rose 146%.

    It’s great to see that Canadians are seeking information. Natural gas from a variety of different areas offers a significant opportunity, but it’s important for this country to learn more about this abundant and affordable resource.

    See the Google Think Insights infographic here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://ssl.gstatic.com/think/docs/canadians-want-energy-information_infographics.pdf&embedded=true

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    Bob Bailey, MPP, Q&A with Ontario Natural Gas Alliance: Part 2

    We had the pleasure of being able to ask MPP Bob Bailey a variety of questions about natural gas. Earlier in the week we shared part one, which featured Bailey’s Bill 97. Here is part two of our Q&A with the Member of Provincial Parliament for Sarnia-Lambton, in which he shares with us how he became interested in the energy sector, and his thoughts on what natural gas can do for Ontarians.

    Q: How did you become interested in the subject of energy?
    A: I grew up in Oil Springs, Ontario. The first commercial oil well in North America was established there in 1858, and before becoming MPP for Sarnia-Lambton I worked for more than 30 years in Sarnia-Lambton’s petrochemical industry, so I guess you could say I’ve been around the energy industry my whole life. Sarnia-Lambton usually doesn’t come to mind when people think of the major energy production centres in Canada but locally we produce 40% of all petrochemicals manufactured in the country. Not far from Sarnia is the Union Gas Dawn storage facility, the largest natural gas storage facility in Canada. We are an energy hub at the heart of the Great Lakes Region. It’s really impossible to live in Sarnia-Lambton without grasping the importance of energy production and the energy industry.

    Q: What have other provinces done to spur the adoption of natural gas for industry?
    A: B.C. and Alberta have worked to accommodate LNG vehicles on their important transportation corridors. Quebec has supported the private development of infrastructure and already has dedicated heavy duty natural gas vehicle fleets doing business in the province. I’d like to see that economic activity extended right along the Quebec City-Windsor corridor and to the west.

    Q: What might it all mean for the Ontario jobs picture?
    A: Business in Ontario is tough right now. Costs are rising and operating margins are getting tighter. There are a lot of factors that eat into a business’s profitability and ability to compete over the long run. Certainly transportation costs are one of those increasing business expenses. Natural gas as a transportation fuel represents a 30% cost savings for business compared to traditional fuels. It’s not the perfect solution for every business, but it will make a lot of sense for many companies out there. Natural Gas transportation fuels give companies looking for a competitive advantage a great tool, and a way to cut costs while growing their business and creating jobs right here in Ontario.

    Q: What are your thoughts on how natural gas can help Ontarians in other sectors and applications?
    A: I would like the see the industry grow. I’d like to see natural gas infrastructure expanded so that more residents and businesses in rural Ontario have access to such efficient and affordable energy resource. Increased access across Ontario could be a real boon for our agriculture sector. The agri-food industry in Ontario is big business, but not every farmer or producer has access to natural gas the way Ontario’s urban areas do. The affordability of natural gas could make a major difference for Ontario farmers and food producers, growing the industry and helping producers reach new and emerging markets.