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    Affordable Energy Emerges as Key Issue for Ontario Election

    Natural Gas Critical to Province’s Economic Prosperity

    Toronto, Ontario, May 16, 2014 — With Ontarians heading to the polls in a provincial election on June 12, and affordable energy having already emerged as a key issue, the Ontario Natural Gas Alliance is providing a platform for voters to make their voices heard.

    The upcoming provincial election signals Ontarians’ chance to let elected officials know how important energy—and energy savings—are to their collective pocketbooks, says ONGA spokesperson Stefan Baranski. “Ontarians who don’t have access to natural gas need it to lower their residential energy bills. Moreover, our government needs to consider how fuels such as natural gas can lower greenhouse gas emissions while giving operators a distinct competitive advantage,” he says. “Natural gas enabled the province’s coal phase out and it is time we realized the fuel’s full potential to help us build a better Ontario.”

    To assist voters in communicating their concerns, a new online portal will offer an opportunity to connect directly to those vying for their vote. By visiting www.naturalgasnow.ca, voters can address the issue of affordable energy by sending letters directly to candidates in their local ridings.

    According to ONGA, natural gas’ clean and affordable attributes can play a pivotal role in three distinct areas:

    Natural Gas System Expansion
    While the fuel is often taken for granted in urban centres, the majority of rural and northern Ontario families and businesses are without access to natural gas. Due to a lack of infrastructure, less than 20 per cent of rural residents have access to natural gas, and instead must rely on oil, propane or electric heat for homes and businesses—all of which come at a significantly higher cost. “Not having the option for natural gas is a significant economic disadvantage for these communities,” says Baranski. “Government support is critical if we are going to be able to expand the system to include these communities and would result in immediate and significant savings on their energy bills.”

    Baranski adds that savings for businesses are even greater. Some medium sized commercial businesses would be able to save up to $15,000 per year by using natural gas.

    Natural Gas for Transportation
    The transition to natural gas vehicles could substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions, positively impacting Ontario’s environment. According to Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan, the transportation sector accounts for the largest percentage of emissions in Ontario. Natural gas, meanwhile, provides a significant carbon advantage, with a 20-25 per cent lower rate of GHG emissions compared to traditional transportation fuels.

    Furthermore, with natural gas being up to 44 per cent less expensive than gasoline, and 45 per cent less expensive than diesel, the decreased costs would give operators a tremendous competitive advantage. “Integrating natural gas applications into Ontario’s transportation network will result in huge wins for Ontario, both economically and environmentally,” Baranski says.

    Ontario’s Economic Opportunity
    Natural gas-intensive companies in a range of industries including petrochemicals, mining, steel, and fertilizer production are seeking places to expand their existing production or create new operations and jobs. With natural gas prices up to three times more affordable, North America is a key area in their expansion search. An energy platform that includes natural gas gives industry all the more reason to establish and expand in Ontario. For places such as Ontario’s north, home to the Ring of Fire mining area, natural gas-fired electricity generation offers operators a scalable, rapidly deliverable way to meet their energy needs, without the requirement for new transmission capacity.

    “Ontario requires bold action with respect to its energy policy,” says Baranski. “And Ontarians understand just how important this issue is to create competitive advantage. It is time for all Ontarians to fully benefit from clean and affordable natural gas so we can build a better future for our province.”

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    About ONGA
    The Ontario Natural Gas Alliance (ONGA) is a partnership between two of Ontario’s leading natural gas distribution companies, Enbridge Gas Distribution and Union Gas. ONGA was created to help the public understand the vital role natural gas can play in Ontario’s future-forward clean energy mix. ONGA is dedicated to education around the many positive attributes of natural gas, including its affordability, cleanliness and potential to fuel an economic revitalization that will create jobs and expand Ontario’s economy.  For more information, please visit: www.cleanandaffordable.ca.

    For more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact:

    PM Rendon
    DDB Public Relations
    416-972-7784 (direct) / 416-301-2391 (mobile) / paul-mark.rendon@can.ddbpr.com

     

  2. Categories: Uncategorized

    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)

  3. 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