To the Editor:
I’ve been looking at my gas bills from Enbridge, to see if the federal carbon fee is having much impact on the cost of heating our very-ordinary house. Answer: at $124 out of $813, the carbon fee was about 15 per cent of our Enbridge bill this past year. In eight years, the carbon fee will be four times higher than it is now – about $500, or 45 per cent of our 2030 gas bill – assuming no other change in Enbridge’s costs. That will feel different.
I’m not objecting to the carbon fee. I like how it disciplines our collective reliance on fossil fuels for homes and vehicles. I want the carbon fee to arouse everyone’s interest in alternatives. By 2030, I think everyone will want a heat pump, or EV charger, or passive house, or whatever technology can reduce both energy costs and emissions. I hope Prescott-Russell will have enough businesses with these technical skills to meet the demand of residents.
I’m also wary of expanding Enbridge’s gas lines in Prescott-Russell. Pipelines are expensive, long term investments. Who should pay for that? And who will want to heat their home with gas when the carbon fee alone is more than $500 per year?