Statement by Keith Brooks, Programs Director

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat – We applaud the resolution passed unanimously today by Hamilton City Council to support the decision of the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to end the subsidy for methane gas pipelines in new residential developments and reduce spending on gas pipelines generally.

It is good to see municipalities like Hamilton taking a stand against Enbridge’s campaign to earn more profit at the expense of the customers and the climate. We hope the Ontario government will listen and back away from its plan to legislate against this decision.

The OEB is an economic regulator and its primary mandate is to keep energy costs low. The OEB was aiming to reduce costs for existing gas users and reduce costs for new home buyers since they would be more likely to end up with a heat pump instead of a gas furnace, which would be cheaper to operate.


  • The OEB decision would save gas customers over $2 billion over five years, or approximately $600 per customer. The OEB decision would also encourage more heat pumps in new buildings, which would lower energy bills for new homebuyers while lowering carbon pollution. As the resolution states, “natural gas is no longer the cheapest way to heat homes because electric heat pumps are now much more efficient, can provide all heating needs even in the cold climates, and result in far lower energy bills over the long term compared to gas heating.”
  • Enbridge has been asking municipalities to lobby the Ontario government to pass legislation reversing the decision, which is what prompted this resolution from the City of Hamilton. The resolution notes that reversing the OEB decision would be “inconsistent with the City’s climate targets and will result in higher carbon emissions, higher energy bills, higher future decarbonization retrofit costs to get off fossil fuel heating, and a continued financial drain as dollars leave the province to pay for fossil fuels extracted in other jurisdictions.”
  • Enbridge has sent deceptive communications to municipalities across Ontario, which have been refuted and debunked by Environmental Defence
  • Natural gas is actually methane gas. It is a fossil fuel that causes approximately one-third of Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions. Heating homes and businesses with gas accounts for approximately 19 per cent of Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions. New gas pipelines generally have a 60-year lifetime, extending far beyond 2050. It is financially and environmentally irresponsible to be building new pipelines and installing gas equipment in new developments with a massive subsidy worth over $250 million each year.
  • The motion was moved by Councillor Craig Cassar and passed unanimously. Speaking in support of the motion, Councillor J.P. Danko said: “[t]he solution is so obvious, it is hard to see why this is an issue for discussion. … As a gas customer, I am shocked to understand that I am subsidising new gas pipelines. … If we replaced our furnace today, we would replace it with a heat pump.”

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Tamara Latinovic, Environmental Defence