Proposed Natural Gas Expansion Support Program

Regulation Number(s):
Instrument Type:
Bill or Act:
The Access to Natural Gas Act, 2018 (Bill 32)
Summary of Proposal:
Bill 32 would, if passed, amend the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 (OEBA) to facilitate the expansion of natural gas across the Province.
If passed, Bill 32 would amend the OEBA by:

- Requiring the OEB to provide rate protection for consumers or prescribed classes of consumers, with respect to the costs incurred by a gas distributor to expand the natural gas distribution system to those consumers. The rates that would otherwise have applied to the distributor to recover such costs would be reduced.

- Providing gas distributors with entitlement to compensation for lost revenue resulting from the rate protection provided to eligible newly-connected consumers.

- Requiring all consumers, or classes as consumers as prescribed, to contribute towards the rate protection amounts that would be provided to eligible newly-connected consumers.

- Requiring the OEB and gas distributors to provide information and reports, as prescribed by regulation, to the Ministry and to each other regarding implementation, administration, funding and delivery of the rate protection.
The proposed program would operate in conjunction with the OEB's existing natural gas framework.

If Bill 32 is passed, ENDM proposes to develop regulations that would set out program specific criteria. It is anticipated that the regulation may prescribe program details such as eligibility and funding rules, as well as cost responsibility and recovery.

Work is ongoing to develop the specific details and ENDM is soliciting comments and input on these program design areas.

The purpose of the proposed program would be to mitigate or reduce the costs of expansion paid by newly-connected natural gas customers and subsidize these costs across the natural gas rate base. The proposed program would be designed to ensure that it recovers as closely as possible only the minimum costs necessary to make expansion projects economically viable.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
October 31, 2018
Comments Due Date:
November 30, 2018