The affordability of natural gas allows for a host of innovative technology applications that might not otherwise be considered, facilitating things like: the incorporation of renewable technologies into electricity grids; the broader use of combined heat and power technologies; lower emission internal combustion engines; LNG or CNG in the North; and various other opportunities. Affordable energy also has indirect innovation benefits, as it is a key determinant for investment decisions by industry looking to locate plant in a jurisdiction.
The Natural Gas Innovation Fund™ (NGIF) was created by the Canadian Gas Association (CGA) to support the funding of cleantech innovation in the natural gas value chain. It seeks to fill a technology development gap in the sector and invests in innovation enabling natural gas solutions for current and emerging challenges facing Canada’s energy system.
NGIF is funded by the natural gas industry. With access to pooled capital, leveraged intelligence and a combined backyard across Canada to field test innovation, the natural gas industry can select and advance cleantech projects led by startups and organizations with the right innovation for market uptake and commercial viability.
Natural gas distribution utilities have been developing successful energy efficiency programs for their residential, commercial and industrial customers for more than 20 years. These programs help customers invest in more efficient equipment and provide energy saving tips which result in lower energy costs and increased productivity and competitiveness for industry. In addition, by helping reduce natural gas consumption, efficiency programs result in lower emissions and help ensure the responsible use of Canadian resources.
Across Canada, there is significant opportunity to harness greater energy efficiency from natural gas end use equipment and appliances. Specific areas of focus include improving the efficiency of commercial heating and industrial processes and taking a ‘whole house ’ approach to improve residential energy use.
In an effort to continuously drive energy efficiency, CGA is working in collaboration with members and a range of stakeholders to identify opportunities, overcome obstacles, develop policy recommendations and gather business intelligence related to advancing the efficient use of natural gas. Canada’s gas utilities welcome the opportunity to work with other stakeholders to develop initiatives that will ensure affordable, reliable, and safe energy delivery to Canadians coast to coast to coast.