The Southern Bruce natural gas project reached a major milestone this week as EPCOR completed its filings of a Leave to Construct application and a Rate application with the Ontario Energy Board (OEB).
Published In: Corporate Information
aThe Leave to Construct filing includes information about system design, routing and an environmental report. The Rate filing includes the proposed charges for each class of customers, and information on how the rates were derived. Cumulatively, the applications and reports total nearly 2,500 pages of project documentation. EPCOR remains committed to continuing consultations with First Nations, Métis communities, and other interested parties regarding the project."EPCOR and its community partners continue to work diligently towards beginning construction of the Southern Bruce project in the spring of 2019," said EPCOR President & CEO Stuart Lee. "With the introduction of Bill 32, the Access to Natural Gas Act, by the Province of Ontario, the stage has been set to facilitate natural gas expansion. EPCOR and the local communities are working closely with the Province to confirm their continuing support for executing the project on its planned timeline."Ontario's Southern Bruce region has been advocating for natural gas service for six years to relieve the pressure of high electricity and heating costs on residents, businesses and farms. While customers residing in more urban and populated parts of Ontario use natural gas for daily activities, fewer than 20% of Ontario's rural and northern homes and businesses have access to it. "EPCOR's natural gas service will bring considerable benefits to the region and its citizens," said Mr. Lee. "This includes an anticipated annual energy savings of $750 to $1,800 per household, and an estimated $80-$100 million in capital investment over 10 years."EPCOR has been working since 2015 to bring natural gas service to the area. In 2016, the Municipality of Kincardine, Township of Huron-Kinloss and the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie selected EPCOR as the preferred provider through a competitive process. In April 2018, after a detailed and public process, the OEB awarded EPCOR the project. To achieve the targeted in-service date of 2019, significant activities will need to take place this fall, including staging and procurement. The communities and EPCOR are hopeful that the provincial Legislature and government will move forward as quickly as possible to pass Bill 32 and enact the necessary regulations to make this project a reality.