Ontario understands the importance of the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate (NIER) Program to large northern industrial consumers, which is why the province is committing to making the level of support permanent, announced David Orazietti, MPP.
“The NIER Program is a great example of the initiatives our government has undertaken to help the northern economy by ensuring Northern industries remain globally competitive,” said Orazietti. “The ongoing support from this program will benefit companies like Essar Steel and Flakeboard right here in our community, and help to protect and expand local job opportunities in Sault Ste. Marie.”
The program will build on the past successes of the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program since the province introduced the three-year program in 2010, and extended it in 2012. The Ontario government is committing to an ongoing program, beyond March 2016, with continued support of up to $120 million per year. The government will also undertake a review on the efficiency and effectiveness of the program and options for a sustainable approach.
“Our government is happy to support an ongoing program to provide up to $120 million annually to help strengthen and support investment in the northern economy,” said Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance. “This is part of our commitment to support the north and build a strong northern economy.”
The Ontario government recognizes the unique needs of northern industries such as higher energy costs due to climate and distance to markets. The province is committed to working with industry partners to maintain and strengthen their global competitiveness. Locally this savings is estimated at approximately $10 million per year to industry.
“Essar Steel Algoma welcomes today’s news that Ontario is making the NIER program permanent. As a manufacturer in Northern Ontario who competes globally, we have to be proactive when it comes to energy management. The NIER program helps offset the capital investment required for conservation initiatives that reduce our consumption, lower our costs and keep us competitive. “ said Kalyan Ghosh, CEO, Essar Steel Algoma
The government will continue to help northern Ontario’s largest industrial electricity consumers reduce their electricity costs, sustain jobs and maintain global competitiveness.
§ Currently, there are 16 Northern Ontario industrial companies, including Essar and Flakeboard in Sault Ste. Marie, representing 23 facilities participating in the program. On average, industrial electricity prices may be reduced by up to 25 per cent through the program. To date, the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program has disbursed more than $546 million.
§ The Ontario government originally introduced a three-year Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program in the 2010 provincial budget. A three-year extension of the program was announced in December