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  1. Categories: Business

    Natural Gas to Add $1 Trillion to Canadian Economy

    According to the Conference Board of Canada (the country’s foremost independent, not-for-profit applied research organization) and their report, “The Role of Natural Gas in Powering Canada’s Economy,” natural gas investment and production is expected to add nearly $1 trillion to the Canadian economy and generate an average of 260,000 jobs annually, over the next 24 years.


    Natural gas production in Canada already supports nearly 130,000 jobs and generates over $24 billion in economic activity per year. Accounting for about 38% of Canada’s primary energy supply, natural gas satisfies about 31% of energy demand, and makes up 42% of Canada’s energy exports.

    Fuel of Tomorrow

    It’s estimated that natural gas production will contribute another $576 billion to Canada’s economy between 2012 and 2035, and support an additional 129,000 jobs per year. In all, Canada’s natural gas industry is expected to add a cumulative $940 billion to Canada’s economy over the next 24 years, and generate roughly 6.2 million person-years of employment.

    The Province Wins

    Ontario benefits by both direct investment in its economy and increased demand for manufactured goods and services. The province will receive 18% of the resulting employment and 16% of the total increase in labour income. This means that, over the 24-year horizon, natural gas investments will help create 560,000 person-years of employment in Ontario.

    How do you feel about the forecasted impact of natural gas on the Ontario economy? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

  2. Categories: Business

    Staten Island Ferry Converting to Natural Gas

    As the famous song goes, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. And natural gas is definitely making it big in the Big Apple.

    New York City’s Department of Transportation is converting one of its Staten Island ferries to liquefied natural gas (LNG) from diesel, significantly reducing the boat’s fuel bill and cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 25%.

    The well-used Staten Island Ferry service shuttles 60,000 people to lower Manhattan every weekday. The boats make more than 100 trips a day during the workweek, and about 35,000 trips annually. Converting the Staten Island Ferry to LNG is a win-win-win: reducing dependence on imported oil, resulting in lower operating costs, and helping the environment.

    With diesel costing the city about $1 per litre, it pays more than $150,000 a week to fill one ferry’s fuel tank. LNG is much more affordable, ranging between $0.06 and $0.11 for the equivalent of a litre. Retooling the vessel to operate under LNG power will save New York taxpayers nearly $3 million a year. (In other words, the $3 million retrofit will pay for itself within its first year.) Just imagine what they could save if they converted all eight of their ferries to natural gas?

    So, what are your thoughts about switching diesel-burning engines to clean and affordable natural gas? How is this conversion being realized in your community? Let us know in the comments below.

  3. Categories: Uncategorized

    Winter Energy Tips: Insulate and don’t let the heat escape.

    From the moment heat’s generated inside your home, it tries to escape. Besides air leakage, heat’s also lost by conduction, convection, and radiation through the ceiling, basement, windows, and doors. But every house differs by size, type, age, and any improvements that have already been made by the homeowner. All influence energy-saving potential, percentage of heat loss and priorities for which potential improvements could yield the most savings for your budget.

    This priority list helps determine where your money and effort can be best spent:

    1. Attic: Though it can have only 10-15% heat loss, your attic is the first place to consider adding more insulation because it’s generally the easiest and most economical to do. It is especially important to add more insulation if there’s less than 10 inches (approximately R-30).

    2. Basement: Since an unfinished basement has a high heat loss (20-25%) adding exterior or interior insulation presents a major opportunity to improve your home’s thermal efficiency. This is most cost-effective when done in conjunction with finishing the basement as a living space, or digging up the exterior to repair foundation wall drainage.

    3. Windows and doors: Windows and doors represent about 15-20% of your home’s heat loss. (Remember, this is the heat loss through the glass, wood, and framing materials; not heat loss from air leakage.) Depending on the age, operation, and design of your windows and doors, you may want to consider replacing them. Replace windows and doors if they do not operate easily, are in poor condition, or are difficult to weatherstrip.

    4. Walls: Adding insulation to walls is worthwhile if done in coordination with renovating the interior walls or re-siding – this can reduce heat loss by 10-20%.