Enbridge Gas requested a 40% increase in the price of natural gas to begin April 1 and it has been approved by the Ontario Energy Board this week. We should really thank them for confirming that the price of fossil fuels is too volatile to be sustainable. The increase would add $400 to a household using 3,000 cubic metres of gas annually. It applies to those gas-fired electric power plants too, so expect an impact on electric bills. And that’s before tax. (Maybe now you’ll be glad that two gas plants were cancelled).
With spring weather, our need for gas will begin to subside and we’ll have about six months to get serious about reducing our need for natural gas in next winter’s season. We’re going to pay one way or another. Conserving is an investment that will pay dividends. Consuming is a perpetual expense.
Readers of this blog know that a well-constructed and smartly designed house can virtually eliminate the need for a conventional furnace. It begins with insulation, more insulation, and insulation. Some other strategies include:
- Make use of south facing windows for solar heat gain
- Improve seals around windows and doors
- Add solar window film to reduce heat loss, improve solar gain
- Upgrade windows to double or triple glazing
- Passive solar panels can provide free supplemental heating during daylight hours
- Consider other solar technologies:
Solar hydronic heating can collect heat and transfer it to a circulating fluid
Solar electric (PV) panels can reverse electric charges (net metering) to offset other higher energy costs
If we start planning now, do you think maybe we can cut Enbridge’s bottom line by 40%?