By Email:

Dear Mr. Monaco:

Re: Your proposed Hamilton Pipeline

On May 19th I asked you to cancel Enbridge’s proposed fracked gas pipeline in the City of Hamilton.

Two days later I received a response from Andrea Stass, Enbridge’s Manager, External Communications and Media Relations.

According to Ms. Stass, Enbridge’s proposed pipeline is needed “to ensure that Ontario families and businesses continue to have reliable access to an affordable energy choice,” namely fracked gas. [1]

Fortunately, there is a better option to heat Ontario’s homes and businesses. By expanding its energy conservation and efficiency programs Enbridge can avoid the need for additional fracked gas imports, reduce our energy bills, create jobs in thousands of Ontario communities and help Ontario achieve its 2030 climate target.

On average, Enbridge’s 2019 energy efficiency programs are forecast to reduce its customers’ energy bills by $4.72 for every dollar spent by your utility. Your most cost-effective programs in the commercial sector are forecast to reduce your customers’ bills by $16.43 for every dollar spent by Enbridge.[2]

Therefore, by investing $204 million to expand your energy efficiency programs instead of the proposed Hamilton Pipeline, you can reduce your customers’ energy bills by $963 million to $3.4 billion.

You say the pipeline is needed because of increases in the demand for fracked gas. But, according to a recent study prepared for the Ontario Energy Board and the Independent Electricity System Operator, energy efficiency programs could cost-effectively reduce Ontario’s total gas consumption by 20% by 2038. [3] Why should Ontarians spend $204 million on a new pipeline when they could reduce their energy bills and reduce gas demand through energy efficiency instead?

Unfortunately, as you are well aware, due to the Ontario Energy Board’s outdated regulatory rules, building new fracked gas pipelines, not investing in energy efficiency, is Enbridge’s most profitable course of action. This doesn’t make sense. The Ontario Energy Board should change its regulatory rules to ensure that the pursuit of all cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities is Enbridge’s most profitable course of action.

In conclusion, please provide the leadership that is urgently needed to align the interests of Enbridge’s customers and shareholders. Specifically: a) cancel your proposed Hamilton Pipeline; b) ramp up your cost-effective energy efficiency programs to their full potential asap; and c) ask the Ontario Energy Board to make the promotion of energy conservation and efficiency Enbridge’s most profitable course of action.

Yours sincerely,

Angela Bischoff

[1] According to page 16 of Enbridge’s Annual Gas Supply Plan Update (2020), “By 2025, [fracked] shale gas is projected to account for about 80% of all U.S. and Canadian gas production.”

[2] Ontario Energy Board Docket No. EB-2015-0049, Exhibit B, Tab 2, Schedule 3, page 6.

[3] Navigant Consulting Ltd., 2019 Integrated Ontario Electricity and Natural Gas Achievable Potential Study , (2019), pages iii, vii and ix.