ON: UPDATE – Government calling for new natural gas expansion projects
On December 12, 2019, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) received a letter from the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines requesting information on new potential projects to expand access to natural gas in communities not currently connected to a natural gas distribution system.
Timelines for input are tight as the OEB is required to report back to the Minister by August 31, 2020. Stakeholder comments on draft guidelines developed for these projects by the OEB were due on January 15, 2020.
The CPA has retained counsel to provide advice and intervene on members’ behalf at the OEB on this file. Michael Richmond of McMillan Vantage issued a letter in response to the OEB’s request for input, confirming the CPA’s intention to participate in EB-2019-0255, with respect to the draft Guidelines for Potential Projects to Expand Access to Natural Gas Distribution. The CPA submitted a detailed response to the draft guidelines, meeting the January 15 deadline.
The CPA is also reaching out to consumer advocacy groups to determine their interest in standing with the Association for better transparency and oversight regarding the implementation of this government policy. The CPA continues to request that members engage with their local government representatives to express their concerns regarding the use of public funds to finance uneconomical natural gas expansion projects at the expense of private sector propane businesses.