This consultation closes at 11:59 p.m. on:
November 30, 2018
The Access to Natural Gas Act, 2018 (Bill 32) has been introduced and would, if passed, authorize the creation of a rate-payer funded cross-subsidization Natural Gas Expansion Support Program. ENDM is proposing to create regulations to support Bill 32, if passed, that would outline program criteria and details.
Bill 32 would, if passed, amend the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 (OEBA) to facilitate the expansion of natural gas across the Province.
If passed, Bill 32 would amend the (OEBA) by:
- Requiring the OEB to provide rate protection for consumers or prescribed classes of consumers, with respect to the costs incurred by a gas distributor to expand the natural gas distribution system to those consumers. The rates that would otherwise have applied to the distributor to recover such costs would be reduced.
- Providing gas distributors with entitlement to compensation for lost revenue resulting from the rate protection provided to eligible newly-connected consumers.
- Requiring all consumers, or classes as consumers as prescribed, to contribute towards the rate protection amounts that would be provided to eligible newly-connected consumers.
- Requiring the OEB and gas distributors to provide information and reports, as prescribed by regulation, to the Ministry and to each other regarding implementation, administration, funding and delivery of the rate protection.
The proposed program would operate in conjunction with the OEB's existing natural gas framework.
If Bill 32 is passed, ENDM proposes to develop regulations that would set out program specific criteria.It is anticipated that the regulation may prescribe program details such as eligibility and funding rules, as well as cost responsibility and recovery.
Work is ongoing to develop the specific details and ENDM is soliciting comments and input on these program design areas.
The purpose of the proposed program would be to mitigate or reduce the costs of expansion paid by newly-connected natural gas customers and subsidize these costs across the natural gas rate base. The proposed program would be designed to ensure that it recovers as closely as possible only the minimum costs necessary to make expansion projects economically viable.
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