ON extends energy incentive program
The province's decision to extend a $360-million incentive energy rate program has drawn rave reviews from the forest products industry.
The extension of the Northern Industrial Electrictiy Rate (NIER) program for $120 million per year over three years, means companies can save up to $20 million annually on their energy bills, putting Ontario mills and mines on par with those in other provinces.
Current NIER participants could continue to receive a rebate of two cents per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 2011-12 eligible consumption levels, or $20 million per year – whichever is lower.
“Our government is proud to provide support to the forest industry – one of Ontario’s economic drivers. I am certainly pleased that we intend to extend our commitment for the NIER program for another three years. There is no doubt that this program is essential to job creation and economic prosperity in Northern Ontario,” said Michael Gravelle, Minister of Natural Resources.
The program is available to facilities that consume 50,000 megawatt hours of electricity per year, and can reduce industrial electricity prices up to 25 per cent. Participants are required to develop and implement an energy management plan to manage their energy usage and reduce costs.
“Electricity continues to be a major operating cost for large northern forestry operations,” said Jamie Lim, president and CEO of the Ontario Forest Industries Association. “Today’s announced extension of this program will assist them in lowering costs, improving productivity and boosting competitiveness. We look forward to continue working with the provincial government to develop policies and programs that support a renewable industry so important to Ontario’s economy.”
Tembec President and CEO James Lopez added: “partnering with the covernment is helping to create an economic environment that is more favourable for our renewable resource industry, and enables forest products companies like ours to look ahead with greater confidence. In a period where controlling energy costs is essential to remaining competitive, we need to keep working together to ensure continued industrial development and to sustain jobs in Northern Ontario.”
Click here for more information on the NIER program.