The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is the regulator of Ontario's natural gas and electricity industries and also provides advice on energy matters referred to it by the Minister of Energy. The OEB’s mandate and authority come from the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, the Electricity Act, 1998 and a number of other provincial statutes and regulations. The OEB reports on administrative matters to the Ontario legislature through the Minister of Energy but carries out its functions and responsibilities independently.
The OEB’s mission is to promote a viable, sustainable and efficient energy sector that serves the public interest and assists consumers to obtain reliable energy services that are cost effective.
The OEB operates as an adjudicative tribunal and carries out its regulatory functions through oral or written public hearings and other more informal processes such as panels and committees. The OEB is also mandated to develop policies on various energy sector matters.
Natural Gas Market Supply and Demand Dynamics
The North American and Ontario natural gas markets are influenced by a number of factors that affect gas supply, demand, prices and price volatility. These factors include, but are not limited to, evolution in,
Market Based Alternatives to Infrastructure Builds
- Exploration, production and diversity of supplies (e.g., shale gas);
- Recoverable resource estimates;
- Infrastructure developments (e.g., transmission, storage and distribution);
- End uses (e.g., gas-fired electric generation and changes in the Ontario industrial sector);
- Liquefied (LNG), compressed (CNG), and renewable (RNG) natural gas markets;
- Technology advancements;
- Regulatory developments; and
- Environmental protection.
Certain natural gas infrastructure projects require leave to construct (LTC) from the OEB before they can proceed. Applicants for LTC are expected to demonstrate that they have considered a number of alternatives and have chosen a preferred option that best serves the public interest and is economically feasible. The OEB expects applicants to evaluate market based alternatives in addition to solutions that require infrastructure builds. Market based solutions may include such things as alternative gas procurement arrangements and demand side management (DSM) initiatives.
Natural Gas Supply Planning
Natural Gas utilities in Ontario develop and file gas supply plan memorandums with the OEB on a regular basis that describes the planning process the distributors follow to develop their supply plans. The objective of gas supply planning is to develop a strategic portfolio of natural gas supply, transportation, and storage assets that provide for the safe, reliable, and cost-effective delivery of natural gas to consumers throughout the calendar year. A gas supply portfolio is structured to meet demand for natural gas on peak day along with seasonal demand throughout the winter and summer months. The gas supply planning process is dynamic, reflecting changing market forces, and does not commit the utility to the acquisition of a specific supply type or facility. Going forward, gas supply plans are expected to include RNG as a potential fuel source to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The OEB is working with industry to establish a framework for the assessment of natural gas distributor supply plans. A draft of the Gas Supply Plan Framework is available at https://www.oeb.ca/industry/policy-initiatives-and-consultations/framework-assessment-distributor-gas-supply-plans.
The OEB is seeking a natural gas expert to assist the OEB with its understanding and assessment of the North American natural gas market as it affects the OEB’s work with an emphasis on the Ontario market.
The term of the assignment is for two (2) years with an option to extend for two (2) additional one (1) year terms.
Full details are provided in the RFP document which is available only through MERX at www.merx.com or 1-800-964-6379, MERX reference number 0000086349.