Ontario Construction News Staff writer
The Ontario government is spending up to $1.8 million to expand natural gas service to households and businesses in Saugeen First Nation.
Construction has started on a new natural gas pipeline that will bring more reliable and affordable energy to the Indigenous community, Bill Walker, Associate Minister for Energy, announced last week.
“By expanding access to natural gas, our government is putting more money in people’s pockets,” Walker said. “Expanding natural gas to Saugeen First Nation will also help to foster job creation and business growth, sending a clear message that Ontario is open for business.”
The Saugeen First Nation Community expansion project is being built by Enbridge and will deliver natural gas to an estimated 65 homes and 24 businesses.
“I am thrilled to see the option of natural gas arrive here in Saugeen First Nation. Natural gas provides a cleaner and more affordable fuel source for heating water and homes for our Community members,” said Chief Lester Anoquot, Saugeen First Nation.
Switching to natural gas could save households in Saugeen First Nation $800 to $2,500 per year in energy costs and small and large businesses could save up to 30% per year.
“The further expansion of natural gas in our region – now onto the Saugeen First Nation – is welcome news and will help more residents have access to an energy source that is affordable and reliable” said Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron—Bruce.
“Natural gas is the most affordable way to heat our homes and water, and we’re thrilled to bring this energy source to the Saugeen First Nation,” said Cynthia Hansen, executive vice-president and president, Gas Distribution and Storage, Enbridge Inc.
“This heating season, residents will be able to enjoy the comfort and affordability that natural gas delivers. We look forward to working with the Government of Ontario to continue to bring safe, reliable natural gas to more of Ontario’s Indigenous, rural, and northern communities.”
The Saugeen First Nation Community Expansion Project, which is being built by Enbridge, will receive up to $1.8 million in eligible funding through the first phase of the Natural Gas Expansion Program.
The first phase of the Natural Gas Expansion Program projects is expected to connect over 9,000 customers in 16 communities to natural gas.
The government is moving ahead with Phase 2 of the Natural Gas Expansion Program, which will allocate up to $130 million to support new natural gas expansion projects over a three-year period from 2021 to 2023.