Natural gas on the way to Cherry Valley area

Enbridge VP Jim Sanders, Bay of Quinte MPP and Energy Minister Todd Smith, Mayor Steve Ferguson and councillor Jamie Forrester at Monday's announcement. (Submitted Photo)

While it still may be a year or two before Cherry Valley residents can officially say they are “cooking with gas”, the preparations that will connect a host of farms, residences and businesses with the Enbridge Gas network are underway.

Bay of Quinte MPP and Ontario’s Energy  Todd Smith joined County of Prince Edward Mayor Steve Ferguson and officials with Enbridge Monday to announce approximately 152 homes, businesses and farms in south Prince Edward County 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 up to $5,206,389 to support new connections to the natural gas distribution system and help make life more affordable in Bay of Quinte.

“We’re making good on our promise to deliver affordable energy and expand natural gas pipelines to even more communities across Ontario, including our own right here in Prince Edward County,” said Smith. “Under Phase 2 of the expansion program, access to natural gas will help even more families and businesses find energy savings, while promoting economic development and job creation across Bay of Quinte.”

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 are lowering energy costs for homes, businesses and farms across rural, remote and underserved communities,” said Smith. “With Phase 2, we’re putting people first, bringing prosperity to their communities, 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.

“Residents and businesses have expressed their desire to see natural gas expansion occur in Prince Edward County, and we’re pleased to see this move forward,” said Mayor Ferguson. “Natural gas is the most common, affordable heating fuel in Ontario. The municipality fully supports the efforts of the Government of Ontario and Enbridge Gas. We look forward to working together to expand natural gas access in our community to attract new opportunities, help create jobs, and lower monthly costs for residents.”

“We’re thrilled that through Ontario’s Natural Gas Expansion Program, Enbridge Gas will bring much needed and wanted natural gas in the most affordable way to more communities across Ontario, including this one,” added Cynthia Hansen, Executive Vice President & President, Gas Distribution & Storage, Enbridge Inc. “Natural gas is the most economic way to heat buildings and water, and we are excited to work with local officials and the community to move this project forward, so residents can benefit from the cost savings, and local businesses can be more competitive.”

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.

 

QUICK FACTS

  • 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.

-Staff