Natural gas bills are expected to reflect the dismantling of Ontario’s cap and trade system beginning in October. For now, major utilities such as Enbridge and Union Gas still have communiques on their websites explaining that they are awaiting required direction from the Ontario Energy Board before they can stop collecting carbon tax, but Premier Doug Ford confirms that protocol is in progress.
“By removing the carbon tax from natural gas bills, we’re saving families about $80 a year and small businesses about $285 a year,” he announced last week.
The levy, which had been set at approximately 3.3 cents per cubic metre of consumption, represented about 12 per cent of the natural gas costs under current prices. However, budgeters aren’t necessarily counting on a straightforward 12 per cent saving on heating costs for the coming year.
“The natural gas rate is only one factor. Colder than normal temperatures mean higher consumption, which might translate to the actual dollar-spend staying the same,” says Rob Detta Colli, manager of energy and sustainability with Crossbridge Condominium Services. “We will be changing our budget templates to reflect the reduction now that we know the effective date. What will likely happen is savings from natural gas will offset other budget lines that might be increasing.”