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Media Release: Consumer Groups appeal Ontario Energy Board’s Billion Dollar Giveaway

June 19, 2007

For Immediate Release

Attention: News/Business Editors

Consumer Groups appeal Ontario Energy Board’s Billion Dollar Giveaway

(OTTAWA)—The Vulnerable Energy Consumers Coalition, (VECC) together with
the Consumers Council of Canada (CCC) and the Industrial Gas Users
Association (IGUA) today appealed the decision of the Ontario Energy Board
to allow Union Gas Limited to keep all the revenues from natural gas storage
that is sold to non-Union customers. The storage was built with the rates
paid by Union Gas customers and the outside revenue has always been shared
so that Union Gas customers get 75% of the money credited against their
rates.

Now, Union customers will get nothing and Enbridge Gas Distribution
customers will pay for part of their gas storage obtained from Union Gas
Limited at rates that are six times the actual cost. (All customers of
Union Gas Limited and Enbridge Gas Distribution pay for natural gas storage
in their rates).

Ontario three main customer groups are appealing to the Ontario cabinet to
prevent the decision from being implemented. The cost to Ontario consumers,
after a brief transition period, is expected to be greater than $100 million
per year and one billion dollars over a ten-year period.

“The Board decision will not create any new natural gas storage, and neither
will it conserve or create energy,² said Michael Janigan, General Counsel
of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre who represented VECC in the OEB
proceeding.

“It is simply making Ontario consumers give a billion dollar gift to Union
Gas Limited’s American owners, Duke Energy. This is money obtained by having
Canadian customers pay over the years for storage to be developed and then
taking away the profits when the surplus storage becomes successful.”
Janigan continued.

VECC and the other customer groups are requesting that the Ontario Cabinet
set aside the Board Decision and return it to the OEB for a rehearing.

thumb_pdfLetter and Petition of VECC June 19, 2007
Download File: letter_and_petition_of_vecc_june_19_07.pdf [size: 0.07 mb]

Michael Janigan
Executive Director and General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
(613) 562-4002 ext 26

 

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