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Natural Gas remains Ontario's Most Affordable Energy Option

Despite the ups and downs, including Ontario's most recent winter—the coldest in decades—Natural Gas has stood the test as the most clean and affordable option for our province's energy needs.

For more on how Natural Gas plays a critical role, for both the present and the future, be sure to visit our blog.

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ONGA Estimated Cost of Energy

Affordable

Natural gas is the most affordable option for meeting Ontario's growing energy needs.

Abundant supplies equal low prices

Access to new, massive deposits of natural gas in North America has translated into affordable natural gas prices for consumers. In fact, natural gas prices are at their lowest level in a decade, and experts predict that prices will remain affordable until at least 2025.

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Recycling

Clean

Using natural gas in your home, to generate electricity, power our industries and in other applications offers a number of significant environmental benefits.

A Smaller Carbon Footprint

Natural gas is the cleanest of the conventional fuels, producing only about 45 per cent of the emissions of coal and oil*. It can substantially reduce Ontario’s carbon footprint and is the ideal complement to intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind and solar for power generation. Using natural gas in place of coal or oil as an energy source only makes sense in the battle against global climate change.

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Economic Opportunity

Natural gas works hard for North America, generating electricity, powering our manufacturing plants, providing raw material for a range of products, heating homes and fuelling transportation.

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Shale Gas

Natural gas from shale formations refers to gas that is trapped naturally within very fine sedimentary rocks called shale or mudstone.

Millions of years ago mud and silt that contained plant and animal debris washed into ancient oceans and lakes. Over time, shale and mudstone rock formed and the organic material generated oil and gas. The oil and gas largely migrated into sandstones and limestones, forming conventional oil and gas reservoirs. The natural gas that stayed within the shale rock is referred to as shale gas.

A drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is used to unlock this gas by creating tiny fractures that allow the gas to flow to the surface through wells. This process has been used since the 1950s.

Shale gas plays an important role in lowering customers’ gas bills by increasing available supply.

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Shale Gas

The Blog

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  1. Categories: Uncategorized

    Unprecedented proposal to remove natural gas heating in Ontario would pose devastating consequences for Ontario residents and businesses

    A statement by the Ontario Natural Gas Alliance

    The report of the Government of Ontario’s proposal to spend $1.32 Billion to switch homes heated by natural gas to electric heating is ill-conceived and prohibitively expensive.

    The Ontario Natural Gas Alliance (ONGA) is a partner in Ontario’s low carbon future that combats climate change. The industry has made collaborative and cost-effective proposals to meet Ontario’s emission reduction targets including increased conservation spending, moving to more renewable natural gas, and using natural gas in medium- and heavy-duty trucking. However, using Cap and Trade proceeds to switch Ontarians to electric heat would be disruptive and will not allow us to achieve our emission reduction goals.

    Ontarians should continue to have choice, and not be forced to adapt a single electric solution for home heating—one that will entail expensive equipment costs upfront and is six times more expensive to operate than natural gas.

    Bottom line: Ontario households will pay up to $3,000 more each and every year to heat their homes if this policy proceeds.

    Jamie Ellerton
    Spokesperson, Ontario Natural Gas Alliance

  2. Categories: Business, Environment

    How is Markham fuelling economic growth & combating climate change?

    By Jamie Ellerton

    We hear a lot in the news about the need to create jobs and fight climate change. Although the problem is well identified, you may be left wondering what is happening across the province that provides solutions. Let me introduce you to Markham District Energy (MDE).

    MDE relies on clean natural gas to provide heating, cooling, and electricity in Markham with unrivalled reliability. This provides a competitive advantage to the community, fosters new business opportunities, and at the same time reduces emissions to combat climate change. The City of Markham in part credits the founding of Markham District Energy with bringing major employers like IBM to the community. Additionally, the recent growth of Downtown Markham, a new, residential and commercial development in the heart of the city, was enabled in part because of existing natural gas and district energy infrastructure.

    Check out this short video to learn how they do it:

     

    How does it work?

    MDE delivers their services via an interconnected and comprehensive underground system. You can read more about it here.

    This advanced network means incredible reliability for Markham District Energy customers. Even during the worst storms and inclement weather customers have the peace of mind to focus on what they do best — whether it is providing a strong education, best-in-class hospitality, or leading healthcare services.

     

    The Benefit

    Markham District Energy customers and the broader community benefit in two key ways: Natural gas prices are competitive and stable due to an existing strong supply and existing distribution infrastructure and using a district energy system reduces overall emissions. In 2015 alone, MDE reduced greenhouse gas emissions in Markham by 17,000 tonnes — the equivalent of taking nearly 4,000 cars off the road.  As more in the community recognize district energy’s potential the impact can be even greater.

     

    The Opportunity

    It is great to see local leaders like Mayor Scarpitti and Markham Stouffville Hospital’s Jo-anne Marr champion the important role that natural gas is playing in their community.

    Richard Cunningham at the Markham Board of Trade believes the community should look to expand MDE to encourage business growth.  ONGA agrees and we are proud to be a part of the solution.

    Watch the video and let us know what you think on Twitter at @NaturalGas_ON or you can reach me @jellerton.

  3. Categories: Business, Environment

    Jamie Ellerton appointed ONGA spokesperson

    Natural gas is one of the most versatile, reliable, clean and affordable sources of energy available in Ontario. For this reason and more, I’m proud to join the team at the Ontario Natural Gas Alliance (ONGA) as spokesperson.

    Challenges that are top of mind to ONGA members are expanding access to natural gas access to reduce energy bills overall, and ensure the continued success of Ontario’s agriculture sector. And of course, helping confront the challenge of climate change.

    Ontario has millions of existing natural gas distribution customers, ranging from home owners to electricity generation facilities, small businesses, public transportation systems, farms and agri-businesses, a variety of industrial consumers and legions of backyard barbeque enthusiasts. What each of these segments have in common is that they enjoy access to a reliable supply of clean and affordable natural gas. Unfortunately, not all Ontarians enjoy access to natural gas, and this puts some people at a competitive and economic disadvantage.

    I am pleased to join an organization like ONGA that treats the expansion of natural gas distribution service in Ontario for what it is – an important public policy measure. It can increase economic growth, foster agricultural competiveness and reduce energy bills in the winter months, especially when compared to electricity for home-heating. In fact, ONGA has done great work highlighting the benefits of natural gas expansion in Red Lake, Ontario and the need for access for agri-business in Bruce County. As spokesperson for ONGA, I want to keep highlighting the need for increased access to natural gas distribution – it is too important for our economy to ignore.

    For much of the past year, climate change has been front and centre in the news. The government of Ontario has introduced legislation that would, if passed, create a cap-and-trade system and join Ontario with the Western Climate Initiative.

    Everyone at ONGA can agree on one thing: we are long passed the time to debate the merits of taking action to confront climate change and that now is the time to tackle the problem head-on. Having the resolve to confront climate change is one thing, but the approach must be constructive and done in a meaningful way that recognizes Ontario is already a leader in this fight.

    The closure of coal-fired power plants dramatically reduced emissions in Ontario –the largest climate change mitigation measure in North America to date. Just as natural gas played a major role reducing emission from electricity generation, natural gas is similarly positioned to reduce overall emissions in the transportation sector.

    The transportation sector is by far the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the province today. The opportunity of shifting more of the sector to natural gas would be of tremendous benefit to Ontario’s environment and economy, something decision-makers should examine and an issue I look forward to sharing more about.

    In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to speaking about the role that natural gas can play for Ontarians, for the benefit of our climate and our economy.

    I also want to hear what you have to say. You can reach out to ONGA through this website, on Twitter (@NaturalGas_ON) or you can reach me directly here: @jellerton.

    Jamie Ellerton

     

    Jamie Ellerton

  4. Categories: Uncategorized

    ONGA Members and Government of Ontario Partner to Combat Climate Change

    Working together, anything is possible, including addressing one of the great challenges of our time: climate change. The Green Investment Fund is the latest example of partnership between Ontario Natural Gas Alliance members and the Ontario government. This recently announced fund is part of the Ontario government’s Climate Change Strategy and will see $100 million invested to create jobs and help homeowners save energy, reducing monthly energy bills.

    The government estimates the fund will help about 37,000 homeowners conduct energy efficiency audits and then complete retrofits, such as replacing old furnaces and water heaters or upgrading windows and insulation. Homeowners know that making these changes can have a real positive impact on their bottom lines, and it’s a great investment that can pay dividends down the road. In the past, for every dollar invested in natural gas efficiency, savings of $1.50 to $4.00 have been realized for natural gas consumers.

    In many ways, the launch of the Green Investment Fund represents a vote of confidence from the government of Ontario for something that companies such as Enbridge Gas Distribution and Union Gas have been doing for decades: working with customers of all scopes and sizes to reduce monthly bills and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Between 2005 and 2013, natural gas conservation programs resulted in 47 million tonnes of lifetime greenhouse gas reductions, while the price of natural gas remained competitive.

    Clean, reliable and affordable natural gas is an ally in the fight against climate and with the announcement of the Green Investment Fund; it shows the government of Ontario recognizes this important fact. As Glen Murray, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change said with the release of the program: “Improving energy efficiency in the home is one of the most important actions we can take in the fight against climate change.”

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  5. Categories: Business, Environment, Sustainability

    Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Converts Truck Fleet to Natural Gas

    Evolution rarely happens overnight. And in the case of natural gas as a way to power transport, for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, it’s happening one big truck at a time. As reported by Truck News, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced the complete conversion of its private fleet of 179 trucks to compressed natural gas. This fleet is based near Detroit, Michigan and hauls parts and supplies for Chrysler operations between company plants throughout the Midwest of the United States and Ontario.

    The Ontario Natural Gas Alliance (ONGA) advocates of using clean, reliable and affordable natural gas for transportation and it is encouraging to see business around North America embrace compressed natural gas for their fleets.

    FCA’s conversion represents a major investment of resources and confidence in compressed natural gas technology by Chrysler. The conversion itself took two years and US$40 million to complete, not counting the infrastructure investments needed for fuelling and a maintenance facility.

    But while the capital investment was significant, the returns are similarly sized. The company expects to reduce costs on fuel by 35 per cent compared to diesel and perhaps most importantly, reduce CO2 emissions by more than 16,000 tonnes.

    Truck News reports that company officials will monitor the conversion project in the United States before making such a transition in Ontario. ONGA would encourage Chrysler, and indeed all transportation businesses, to explore the myriad benefits of clean, reliable and affordable natural gas for transportation. Here in Ontario, companies like Groupe Robert have experienced both environmental and cost benefits by availing themselves of natural gas technology.

    Take a moment to see first hand how clean, reliable and affordable natural gas is making a positive impact in Ontario: