February 24, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Is Énergir misleading its customers about renewable gas?

Is Énergir misleading its customers about renewable gas?

Florence (fictitious name) is an Energir customer. His home is 80% natural gas supplied, including his furnace and hot water. After receiving emails and mailings from Énergir, she decided to turn to renewable natural gas (RNG). But in return, she has to pay more every month.

We are concerned about the environment. When we see the ads, we’re under the impression that renewable natural gas is coming straight to our homes.She said in an interview with Radio-Canada.

On the company’s website, it is easy to find the offer in question. Énergir suggests that users make a specific gesture for the environment and add renewable gas produced with organic waste to the consumption profile.

Hence the customer has three options. It can replace 10%, 30% or even 100% of its natural gas consumption GNR. For the latter option, the average bill could increase by $45.50 per month, but the increase could be higher depending on household usage. Generally, the GNR Costs three times more than conventional gas.

In return, Energir promises that the consumer will be able to remove 3.8 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year, which equates to 16,688 km driven by the car.

On the Énergir website, you may see these types of advertisements. A group felt that the information shared was misleading.

Photo: Énergir website

We pay more for the same gas

This seduces Florence and her spouse, who decide to subscribe to an active profile to get 30% renewable gas in their home. But the couple quickly felt duped by Energir’s offer.

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I wanted to have renewable gas, but actually didn’t have it at home. We have the same gas as other customers and we pay moreShe explains, frustrated.

In fact, there is no independent network GNR. Both molecules of fossil natural gas and renewables are mixed in a single pipe from the distributor and all consumers get the same product.

Currently, the GNR Represents a very small fraction of the total gas delivered by Énergir. Last year, it was equivalent to 0.6% of the total volume. This figure is expected to rise to 1.2% this year and 2.4% in October 2024.

Contacted by Radio-Canada, Energir denied hiding information from its customers. Énergir is transparent in this regard and it is specifically explained on our website.underscores Elaine Arsenault, a company spokesperson.

Every time a customer makes a purchase, the distributor makes an estimate GNRAll molecules are integrated into a network that allows for an increase in renewable gas volume.

Only consumers who buy an atom of GNR It can be claimed as consumable and have deductions GHG is attachedadds Mrs. Arsenault.

Misleading, one group said

Advertisements misdirection and misleading customers.

The offer allows Énergir to believe it can supply the home in a personalized way, but its network cannot transport the two types of gas separately. However, this reality is not reflected in its advertising campaigns, indicating a lack of transparency.Patrick Bonin of Greenpeace Canada, believes the collective representative.

On the Florence bill consulted by Radio-Canada, Energir determined it would consume the equivalent of 391 cubic metres. GNR annually. But the collective argument is wrong.

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This volume, however, is impossible to deliver to its address through Energir’s network, with only 1% renewable gas mixed with 99% fossil gas. In fact, it receives a maximum of 13 cubic meters per year, or 1% of its consumption.Mr. Bonin said.

However, the Energir group’s exit proves ignorance of energy systems and the company says it respects the law on the Régie de l’Energie. It is enacted into law. Energy distributors, whether they transport electricity or natural gas, work this wayshe said.

Misunderstood offer

For Florence, the offer was poorly explained to consumers. She claims she asked Energir for an explanation, was unsuccessful, and now wants a refund.

On the invoice, it says it can power your home appliances, but actually it doesn’t work for me. I think it’s important for people to know, because people will pay for it. We think we’re green, but we’re not. We pay everyoneshe said.

This is in addition to Energir’s long record of engaging in greenwashing, slowing down the fight against climate change, misleading customers, and more. If they don’t change their ways, we will consider all options. People are currently reeling because they feel they are buying a product that has not been delivered to them.observes Mr. Bonin.

Énergir says it has no intention of changing its offer and wants to increase it GNR to 5% in 2025.

Moreover, for the second year in a row, Énergir is calling for tenders to help us meet our goals over the next few years.Mrs. Arsenault concluded.

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