Natural gas will be available for tens of thousands of rural and northern Ontario residents who currently use more expensive fuel sources of heat and power. The announcement was made Dec. 7, 2018 by Ontario’s infrastructure minister. Bill 32, The Access to Natural Gas Act, will be particularly welcomed by greenhouse growers and crop farmers in areas of the province where natural gas isn’t currently available.
This is really exciting news," said farmer Duane Ferguson, owner of Ferguson's Scattered Acres in Warwick, who relies on industrial heaters to dry his crops such as soybeans, grain, corn and sugar beets. "With natural gas, I'd be saving about half my $50,000 heating bill. For me and my family, that's an unbelievable savings."
The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) has identified high energy costs as a major factor impacting the competitiveness of the sector. OFVGA recently submitted comments on Bill 32 to the provincial government, urging expansion of access. You can read the full text of its letter here.
The new program will be designed to help the private sector expand access to natural gas for up to 78 communities in Ontario. That means approximately 33,000 new households in Ontario could potentially save up to $2,500 per year in energy costs, according to the provincial news release.
Natural gas is the most common heating source in Ontario and is more affordable than other sources such as electricity, oil or propane. Currently, about 3.5 million homes and 130,000 businesses in Ontario use natural gas.
Source: Ontario government December 7, 2018 news release