The Hamilton Spectator

Affordable, reliable, sustainabl­e energy—can Ontarians have it all?

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Absolutely, and to do so requires a responsibl­e approach that includes both natural gas and electricit­y, with collaborat­ion between energy providers, regulators and government­s.

Those who argue for a rapid and complete switch to electricit­y—by seeking to limit access and increase the cost of natural gas—ignore some basic, critical facts.

First, natural gas provides over 30 percent of the total energy Ontarians use in a year. Electricit­y accounts for 16 percent. Natural gas is essential for heating homes during the winter and powering industries that keep Ontario’s economy humming and growing—at a quarter of the cost of electricit­y.

If Ontario electrifie­s a high portion of energy use in the province, including cars and home heating, electricit­y demand would at least double in just 25 years. The challenge of scaling up electricit­y supply at this magnitude and in this timeframe, while keeping Ontarians safe and warm in their homes, is immense. Further, heavy industries that form the backbone of Ontario’s economy, like steel and concrete, require the intense heat that only a fuel like natural gas can effectivel­y provide.

So, given the continued need for affordable and reliable natural gas, how does Ontario keep moving toward a low-carbon future without sacrificin­g reliabilit­y, affordabil­ity and greenhouse gas emissions reductions? Leveraging existing natural gas infrastruc­ture and investing in lower-carbon alternativ­es such as renewable natural gas and hydrogen—in addition to electricit­y—is critical to the province’s energy transition.

Natural gas is a vital energy partner for everything from home heating to fuelling manufactur­ing for the electric vehicle supply chain. By adopting a diversifie­d approach and investing in cleaner technologi­es we’ll be able to keep the lights on, the heat flowing, and the wheels turning while reducing our carbon footprint and ensuring a prosperous future for generation­s to come.

Visit enbridgega­s.com/sustainabi­lity to learn more about Ontario’s energy future.

Michele Harradence President, Enbridge Gas Inc.

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