New natural-gas customers in Kawartha Lakes upset with Enbridge monthly expansion-surcharge fee
The Ontario government has passed legislation to subsidize the expansion of natural gas service to existing and new consumers. As the CPA has been advocating, expanding natural gas is expensive and is not always the best choice for consumers, as per the recent story in Global News on February 8: New natural-gas customers in Kawartha Lakes upset with Enbridge monthly expansion-surcharge fee.
Don and Sarah Campbell of Cambray, Ont., are now reconsidering their decision to switch from propane to natural gas. As part of the 2017 Natural Gas Grant Program, the province contributed $12.3 million to help expand natural gas services in The City of Kawartha Lakes, which will connect homes and businesses in Fenelon Falls, Cambray and Cameron. However, it wasn’t until the Campbell’s received their first bill that they understood the full cost of switching to natural gas. They are now rethinking their decision because of the $118 surcharge on their monthly bill that Enbridge must charge for up to 40 years to cover the cost of the expansion, which the couple says eats into any savings in making the switch.
If the government wants to truly provide Ontarians with affordable, low-emission energy, it must consider all the facts and ensure that it is not picking winners and losers at the expense of the consumer. As with the other natural gas expansion issues that the CPA is working on, including the new liquified natural gas plant in Nipigon (ON: CPA taking action to level playing field with LNG), the CPA and participating members will be raising this issue with government officials on Lobby Day, February 20.