Today, Norman Miller, MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka, joined Todd Smith, Minister of Energy, to announce that more than 140 homes and businesses in Huntsville and Burk’s Falls 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 $3,136,930 to support new connections to the natural gas distribution system and help make life more affordable in Parry Sound-Muskoka.
“Our government is making good on its promise to deliver affordable energy and expand natural gas pipelines to more communities,” said MPP Miller. “Access to natural gas will help more families and businesses find energy savings, while promoting economic development and job creation across Parry Sound-Muskoka.”
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 Minister Smith. “With Phase 2 of the Natural Gas Expansion program, we’re putting people first, bringing prosperity to their communities, and ensuring Ontario remains open for business.”
The average household could save between $250 and $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.
Mayors of Huntsville and Burk’s Falls welcomed the government’s expansion plans, which they see as a boon for their local communities.
“This announcement for natural gas expansion into the Hidden Valley area is great news for Huntsville and especially for the residents who will benefit from a more economical heat source,” said Huntsville Mayor Karin Terziano. “This is expected to save homeowners as much as $1,500 per year.”
“The Village of Burk’s Falls is thrilled with the expected upgrading of natural gas to our community,” said Burk’s Falls Mayor Cathy Still. “Infrastructure is the key to success for growth in all communities.”
“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,” said 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.
Phase 2 of the Natural Gas Expansion Program will allocate more than $234 million to support 28 new natural gas expansion projects across Ontario between 2021 and 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. The projects are funded through a $1-per-month charge to existing natural gas customers.