Warwick Expresses Support for Bill 165 and Reaffirms Importance of Access to Natural Gas in Rural Ontario

Warwick Township reaffirms its support for Bill 165: Keeping Energy Costs Down, introduced by the Government of Ontario, aimed at ensuring affordable and accessible energy for Ontarians. While we commend the government's efforts to address energy affordability issues, we are disappointed that Warwick Township was not selected to present at the provincial hearing scheduled for April 8 and 9 at Queen’s Park. Bill 165 was introduced after the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) decided to remove access to alternate funding models for smaller scale natural gas expansion projects.

Bill 165 holds significant implications for rural Ontario's development potential, particularly concerning access to natural gas. Warwick Township recognizes the critical role of natural gas in providing reliable and affordable energy solutions for Ontarians, especially in rural areas where the limitations of the electricity grid hinder expansion.

As a municipality underserved by both natural gas and electricity infrastructure, we experience firsthand the challenges faced by rural communities in accessing essential energy resources. For years, Warwick has applied to the Natural Gas Expansion Program for expansion of service to Warwick, reflecting the local residents' and agricultural businesses' interests in having access to natural gas to support their homes and businesses.

Furthermore, as the host municipality to one of the largest landfills in the Province, Twin Creeks Landfill, Warwick’s community is actively contributing to the Province's sustainability goals. Warwick supports the Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) project at Twin Creeks Landfill in partnership with Enbridge and Waste Management Canada, which aims to power an additional 35,000 homes. However, we are discouraged that our community will not directly benefit from the services being generated.

Mayor Todd Case emphasized the importance of natural gas access in rural Ontario, stating, "Access to natural gas is crucial for Warwick's economic development and sustainability. We have continuously advocated for expansion projects to support our community's growth and competitiveness."

Warwick Township urges policymakers to consider the perspectives of rural municipalities like ours in shaping energy policies and ensuring equitable representation in legislative discussions. We believe that enhancing natural gas services in our community is essential for us to compete with neighboring communities and support economic development.