Our submissions regarding Bill 165 in Ontario

The province of Ontario is ploughing ahead with plans to make ratepayers pay for new pipelines and we are concerned.

Currently under debate in Ontario’s Queen’s Park is Bill 165. The bill incentivizes new methane-fossil-natural gas infrastructure by subsidizing developer costs, potentially raising gas rates and creating long-term financial risks for customers. It overrides an independent regulator’s decision against such practices for Enbridge Gas, with the potential to increase carbon emissions. Despite being named the Keeping Energy Costs Down Act, the bill is likely to raise costs by reinstating subsidies for methane gas pipelines in new developments, which will burden customers with higher bills.

We should be transitioning away from methane gas. Heat pumps are cost effective. The long-term financial risks of investing in gas pipelines, especially as more customers switch to electrification, leading to a potential “death spiral” for gas rates. The decision to overturn the Ontario Energy Board’s ruling against funding gas pipelines in new construction is criticized as detrimental to energy consumers, driven by lobbying efforts from Enbridge Gas. We must protect consumers and avoiding bad investments during the energy transition.

So we have made two submissions to the Ontario government.

Note that the two submissions are virtually identical (changes made only to references to Standing Committee and ERO).