Phase 2 of the Natural Gas Expansion Program

ERO number
019-3191
Notice type
Regulation
Act
Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998
Posted by
Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
Transferred to
Ministry of Energy
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
February 22, 2021 - April 8, 2021 (45 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:
February 22, 2021
to April 8, 2021

Decision summary

We made 28 natural gas projects eligible for funding under Phase 2 of the NGEP. 26 projects will connect customers and on-reserve communities across Ontario. 2 economic development projects will help businesses create jobs. The government also included requirements for utilities that receive funds.

Decision details

On June 8, 2021, the government filed O. Reg. 451/21, which amended O. Reg. 24/19 – Expansion of Natural Gas Distribution Systems. This regulation has two primary purposes: (1) to specify the 28 projects that will be funded under Phase 2 of the Natural Gas Expansion Program, and the funding amounts for each project; and (2) to introduce new reporting and accountability requirements for the utilities receiving those funds. Those requirements include that utilities apply for leave to construct, where necessary, on or before December 31, 2025 in order to remain eligible for Phase 2 funding; that utilities file a quarterly report that covers community consultations, timelines, progress on permits, construction progress, and updates on consumer connections; and that utilities track all funding received for Phase 2 projects and pay back funds to the Independent Electricity Systems Operator for projects where construction has not commenced in a timely manner. These funds would then be returned to ratepayers. Funding for Phase 2 will continue to come from existing natural gas ratepayers through a $1 per month charge; the program is not funded by taxpayers.

Comments received

Through the registry

12

By email

0

By mail

0
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

Generally, comments submitted on the regulatory proposal were supportive of the natural gas expansion program, though there were some concerns raised. Several commenters offered advice on how to structure the project selection process to ensure that projects selected for financial support would target businesses and communities that would most benefit from natural gas access. Some also raised concerns about existing project eligibility and regulatory requirements. The government took these comments into consideration when selecting projects eligible for financial support under Phase 2 of the Natural Gas Expansion Program and for contemplating further initiatives related to natural gas expansion.

Supporting materials

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Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
Address

Distribution and Consumer Assistance Policy Branch
77 Grenville Street, 6th Floor
Toronto, ON
M7A 2C1
Canada

Connect with us

Contact

Emma Heffernan

Phone number
Office
Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
Address

Distribution and Consumer Assistance Policy Branch
77 Grenville Street, 6th Floor
Toronto, ON
M7A 2C1
Canada

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Original proposal

ERO number
019-3191
Notice type
Regulation
Act
Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998
Posted by
Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
Proposal posted

Comment period

February 22, 2021 - April 8, 2021 (45 days)

Proposal details

Ontario’s Natural Gas Expansion Program facilitates the expansion of natural gas distribution networks through a ratepayer-funded account that funds construction of gas works in areas of the province where it would otherwise not be economical to distribute natural gas. The first phase of the program was launched in 2019, and the government is now preparing to deliver a second phase that will fund additional projects across Ontario using the same funding mechanism as Phase 1 (namely, a $1 per month charge that all natural gas customers pay as part of their gas bills).

In preparation for the launch of Phase 2, last year we asked the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to collect proposals for natural gas projects that could be funded by the second phase of the program. In December 2020 the OEB publicly released their report outlining the proposals it had received, which showed that there was very strong interest in natural gas expansion from municipalities and First Nations across the province: 210 projects were proposed, which would need funding of approximately $2.6 billion. We are considering the projects that were proposed to the OEB and plan to amend Ontario Regulation 24/19 to:

  • Specify which projects will be funded by Phase 2 and how much money each project will receive (giving due consideration to the  large number of proposals submitted to Phase 2);
  • Enhance reporting and accountability requirements for the natural gas companies that will receive Phase 2 funding.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
Address

Distribution and Consumer Assistance Policy Branch
77 Grenville Street, 6th Floor
Toronto, ON
M7A 2C1
Canada

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from February 22, 2021
to April 8, 2021

Connect with us

Contact

Emma Heffernan

Phone number
Office
Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
Address

Distribution and Consumer Assistance Policy Branch
77 Grenville Street, 6th Floor
Toronto, ON
M7A 2C1
Canada