Province makes life more affordable for families and businesses
MERRICKVILLE-WOLFORD —Today, Steve Clark, MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, announced that approximately 67 homes and businesses in Merrickville-Wolford will be able to connect to natural gas for the first time thanks to the province’s Natural Gas Expansion Program.
Under Phase 2 of the program, Ontario will allocate $2,465,037 to support new connections to the natural gas distribution system and help make life more affordable in Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.
“I’m pleased that our government is continuing to expand natural gas pipelines to deliver affordable energy to more communities in our region,” MPP Clark said. “Access to natural gas will help more families and businesses find energy savings, while promoting economic development and job creation across Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes. Our government is delivering on its promise with this Phase 2 investment and I will continue to advocate for the many worthy projects in our riding for the next round of investments.”
The Ontario government is expanding access to natural gas across the province to help keep the cost of energy low for families, businesses and farmers. Phase 2 of the Natural Gas Expansion Program will allocate more than $234 million to support approximately 8750 connections in 43 rural, northern and Indigenous communities.
“As part of our government’s plan to make life more affordable, we prioritized broad distribution across Ontario to help as many homes and businesses keep the cost of energy low, support jobs and attract new investment,” said Bill Walker, Associate Minister of Energy. “With Phase 2 of the Natural Gas Expansion program, we’re putting people first and ensuring Ontario remains open for business. This will be a game-changer for these 43 communities.”
The average household could save between $250 to $1,500 per year in energy costs by switching to natural gas from costlier fuel sources. Businesses are expected to save up to 30 per cent per year on energy costs.
Merrickville-Wolford Mayor Doug Struthers spoke about the importance of the natural gas expansion to the north side of the bridge area “it’s a result of communication and cooperation with the community, our MPP Steve Clark, the provincial government and Enbridge. This project speaks to our council’s vision and affords opportunities for economic growth, increased quality of life for our residents, and will have a positive impact for the environment.”
“Through Ontario’s Natural Gas Expansion Program, these projects will bring much needed and wanted natural gas to additional communities while supporting jobs, helping to attract local investment, and providing energy savings to residents and businesses,” said Cynthia Hansen, Executive Vice President & President, Gas Distribution & Storage, Enbridge Inc. “We are thrilled that the Government of Ontario selected these projects, and look forward to working together with the province and local municipalities to continue to bring natural gas to more Ontario homes and businesses.”
Construction for projects under Phase 2 will begin as soon as this year, with all 28 expansion projects expected to be underway by the end of 2025.
- Phase 2 of the Natural Gas Expansion Program will allocate more than $234 million to support 28 new natural gas expansion projects from 2021 to 2026.
- Since its launch in 2019, Phase 1 of the Natural Gas Expansion Program has supported projects that are forecasted to connect over 9,000 customers, in 16 communities, to natural gas.
- Phase 1 and 2 projects are funded through a $1-per-month charge to existing natural gas customers.