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Ford’s Christmas gift to Enbridge gas

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Jan 20th, 2024
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ONTARIO CLEAN AIR ALLIANCE

Ford’s Christmas gift to Enbridge Gas

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has seen the future and that future does not include subsidizing the expansion of fossil gas service to new residential developments. The OEB ended that subsidy, finding that this would lower energy bills for new homebuyers and for existing gas customers.

But for a provincial government that still has its head buried in the sand when it comes to climate change, the OEB’s decision to end generous subsidies that generate big profits for Enbridge Gas was not acceptable. The Ford government quickly moved – just days before Christmas – to protect its fossil fuel industry friends by stating that it will pass legislation to reverse the board’s decision – an extraordinary step without precedent in Ontario.

If the Ford Government succeeds with its current plan (and there is nothing really stopping it other than public outrage), you will continue to help pay the $4,500 per home subsidy Enbridge Gas receives from current gas customers to provide gas service to new subdivisions or homes that don’t currently have gas service.

The Ford government has justified its decision with an error-riddled and highly misleading press release about how withdrawing this generous handout for Enbridge – totalling over $250 million per year – will lead to higher housing prices and slow new home construction. It is head shaking stuff that makes little real sense.

There is nothing stopping home developers from creating gas-free communities that are equipped with modern technology like heat pumps and induction stoves that will lower homeowners’ annual energy bills and improve indoor air quality.

The simple fact is we must get fossil fuels out of our homes and buildings to have any chance of reducing the damage being done by runaway climate change – not hooking up more homes to fossil gas would be a good first step.

The Ontario Energy Board is supposed to be an arm’s length body that protects customers from utility cost gouging. After a long hearing and review of thousands of pages of studies and evidence, the Board decided that ending the subsidy would lower the energy bills of existing customers and new homebuyers – everyone wins except for Enbridge. When the provincial government rushes in to reverse the decision of a supposedly independent body, you have to wonder whose interests it is really protecting.

Please send Premier Ford and Energy Minister Todd Smith a message telling them to let the OEB’s common sense decision stand.

To learn more, please click here to read our letter to Energy Minister Smith.

Thank you!

Angela Bischoff, Director

P.S. We’ve moved to the Centre for Social Innovation at 192 Spadina Ave, #406, Toronto M5T 2C2

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