Meme Verifying: Higher Heating Costs & No More Natural Gas?

The Meme

Wynne Heating & Natural Gas Meme











True Or Not?
Not any time soon.

What’s The Story?
On Monday, the Globe and Mail published this article, which looks at the Ontario Liberal’s still “Cabinet Confidential” Climate Change Action Plan report. And thus, a new round of memes was born.

One of the policy’s keystones is dramatically reducing household usage of natural gas. From the document, “New building code rules that will require all homes and small buildings built in 2030 or later to be heated without using fossil fuels, such as natural gas. This will be expanded to all buildings before 2050. Other building code changes will require major renovations to include energy-efficiency measures.”

It would be more accurate for the meme to say, “…wants to eventually ban…” but yes, the plan is to eliminate the use of natural gas to heat homes in Ontario.

As for the that $3,000 figure, it’s coming from the Ontario Natural Gas Alliance. According to it, “Ontario households will pay up to $3,000 more each and every year to heat their homes if this policy proceeds.”

But is it accurate? After all, the Ontario Natural Gas Alliance is just a slightly biased organization.

EnviroEconomics, “a leading adviser in the economics of environmental policy and sustainable futures,” prepared a study that examines the impact of the new policy.   According to this Toronto Star article, that study concluded that, “Households will experience some cost increase related to carbon pricing. The average energy costs to households for building energy and transport could rise in the order (of) $13 per month in 2017.”

$13 multiplied by 12 months, that’s $156 a year. Even if EnviroEconomics is giving a sunny ways spin on Wynne’s new policy (and it might be), $156 is a very long way from $3,000. Yes, I know, some people can’t even afford $156 but that’s not what this post is about; it’s about whether or not Ontarians will be paying $3,000 an extra a year to heat their homes.

Right now, the answer to that question is “no.” Yes, natural gas might eventually be outlawed in Ontario and yes, that will result in increased costs to homeowners but the ban, which hasn’t even been formally discussed, is decades off. And a lot can change in a couple of decades.


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