Jim Sanders, president of energy transportation company Enbridge, visited Fenelon Falls, Ont., Friday to knock on doors and explore the construction site for his company’s natural gas expansion project, which will connect homes and businesses in Fenelon Falls, Cambray and Cameron.
The new project is funded partly by a $12.3-million contribution from the province to help expand natural gas services in the City of Kawartha Lakes.
“What we’re doing is we’re bringing natural gas to the community. We’re installing pipes in the community and then asking customers or potential customers if they would like to convert from their existing heating system or fuel system to natural gas,” said Sanders.
Enbridge says natural gas will be a cheaper alternative for property owners currently using propane, wood, oil or hydro to heat their homes.
The company estimates it can save customers more than $1,000 a year.
“This was part of a grant program from the province, and we made a list up of all the communities that we could potentially take natural gas to. Fenelon Falls was one of those communities, and the province selected Fenelon Falls as a successful candidate for that,” said Sanders.
Chris Van Lierop and Tim Wisener recently opened up an interior design business and art gallery in Fenelon Falls. The entrepreneurs are looking forward to switching from hydro to natural gas.
“As we know, electricity is expensive in Ontario and having gas, we figured it will almost be about half of our monthly cost,” said Van Lierop.
Their business currently has an electric forced-air system.
“We are waiting for the line to get through the main street and then we will hook up to the gas and install a gas furnace,” added Van Lierop.
This is the first time in a decade that Enbridge is expanding its reach. The nearly 40-kilometre pipeline will run along Highway 35 north to Highway 121.
Enbridge hopes the new system will be up and running by the end of 2019, if not earlier.