City councillor not happy with proposed Enbridge Gas rate increase

AM800-NEWS-Windsor-City-Council-2019-Fred-Francis

A Windsor councillor is speaking out against a proposed rate increase at Enbridge Gas.

The utility has applied to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to bump the average residential bill up just over $40 per year beginning in April 2022 in an effort to cover the cost of the federal government's Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act.

City councillor Fred Francis says many residents are being overwhelmed with increasing costs across the board.

"The cost of everything is going up let alone gasoline for your car, inflation everywhere, last time I checked it was about 4.4%," says Francis.  "So I kind of feel bad for the residents of the City of Windsor."

He says, while $40 might not seem like much, it could mean less food on the table for some families already struggling.

"Some people are able to weather it more than others, but this certainly hurts everybody let alone anyone living on a fixed income," he says.  "People are really taking it on the chin with respect to the gas prices and other inflationary costs that are rising."

Francis says the city will be forwarding its concerns to the OEB.

"I requested that the city does whatever they can to provide comments on behalf of our residents saying, you know what, this is going to hurt a lot of people," says Francis.  "Even though it might be a small increase, taken in totality with all the other increases, be it at the gas pump or at the grocery store, this is going to hurt a lot of people."

According to a release from Enbridge Gas, the federal government has continued to increase its carbon charge each year since 2019.

The Ontario Energy Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed rate increase — residents have until November 5 to file any comments or concerns on the OEB's website.

— with files from AM800's Rusty Thomson