In the run of an average week, I usually field a question or two about natural gas as a fuel heat source for new construction. In my previous life, I sold homes in Ontario where natural gas was the standard. Here in NB however, that is not the case. In fact, the amount of our clients who choose a natural gas heat system is declining year over year. I feel that there are 2 major reasons for this.
1. Your Neighbour Probably Doesn’t Have Natural Gas
I’m going to use the Toronto Area as an example because it’s one that I know best. The GTA is similar to many urban, developed areas of Canada in that there is a long established history of natural gas usage. In fact, according to Statistics Canada as of 2011, 50% of all homes in Canada were heated by natural gas. I have been searching high and low for stats on NB homes heated by natural gas but can’t seem to find any (if you do, please send them my way). That said, there are drastically fewer homes in NB heated by natural gas than in many other Canadian cities.
There is a high cost to delivering natural gas to our region and that delivery cost is being absorbed and shared by a small number of customers (myself included). The smaller the base of consumers, the higher the cost. As such, I am paying a much higher rate for natural gas in Moncton, NB than I was in Oakville, ON. With natural gas rates staying where they’re at and often rising, many of our clients are option for the alternative of ducted air-to-air heat pumps which offer a similar upfront cost but keep power rates low throughout the cold season.
2. If You’re Building In A New Development, Natural Gas In Likely Not On Your Street
According to Enbridge NB’s website:
“New pipeline is built when there is sufficient demand in an area and where the economics ensure that the capital costs are covered over the long term.”
Looks promising enough. When I called EnBridge to ask what constituted “sufficient demand” and for more information around the aforementioned economics, they asked me to complete a one minute questionnaire so that they could put me on a wait list. I was told that as soon as enough people in my area were on the wait list, they would then consider extending the pipeline to the street. They couldn’t tell me what number of homes would constitute “enough”.
This process is not terrible if you are considering a renovation or conversion however, if you are building new construction, the very nature of the process is problematic. Because EnBridge is requiring a “sufficient” number of homes to agree to be natural gas consumers, the assumption is that people on the list can/will wait until the list is full. When it comes to custom home construction in a new development, it is highly unlikely that homes 1-8 on the list (for example) will wait to build their homes until that 9th person agrees to use natural gas and fills the demand requirement.
Instead, homes 1-8 will proceed to stay on schedule… and that guy who could have been home 9, is back to square one. (Please note that these numbers are for illustration purposes only and were not provided by Enbridge).
I personally would LOVE to see more demand for Natural Gas in NB. This would not only offer our clients more choice in their heat system but, eventually, they would more competitive rates. Are you considering natural gas as a conversion or as a new construction home? Why or why not?
Let me preface this post by declaring that I LOVE holidays. LOVE! I love decorating, dressing up, building traditions and having a blast! So, it should come as no surprise that my family has a jam-packed schedule for the week leading up to Halloween. As I was planning out our activities, I noticed that there was no list anywhere online with this year’s “MUST-DOs” for Halloween in Moncton. So, here are mine
1. Spirit Halloween Superstore Plaza (Main Street).
Granted, I have not yet tried out the other Halloween stores around town but this place was the bomb! It took 20 minutes for us to even get into the store as my kids toured the very exciting decor display. We’re talking electrocutions, mad scientists, attack dogs and even a little zombie girl on a swing. **WARNING** My kids are 6 and loved it but they would have had nightmares if we brought them when they were younger.
I absolutely the holiday people who go all out (a la Clark Griswold)… whether their thing is Halloween, Christmas, Easter, whatever…. That’s why the people at 131 Broadview probably think that I’m some sort of stalker. From Oct 1-31, I try to pass by this fantastic display as often as possible. On Saturday, they’re hosting a Halloween block party from 3-6pm and will be accepting donations for the local food bank. I spoke with the resident of this home and he told me that they see 400-500 trick or treaters every year! We are so sad that this is their last year doing their display.
This will be our first year at Boo At The Zoo and I’m so excited! Open Sat & Sun from 11am-5pm, they promise inflatable fun as well as a scarier area for the parents. With admission, you also get to do your rounds of the animal displays. Be sure to wear a costume… Parents too! This one’s likely to be my kids’ favourite event.
By far, my favourite event of the season is the Keillor House Tour! Open Friday and Saturday night from 7-9pm. Honestly, if you haven’t been, it is a MUST see. My kids begged to join us this year but there would be way too many nightmares and tears at their age. As you tour this historic mansion, live actors engage with you and make sure that every person leaves terrified. Get ready to scream!!
That’s what we’re up to this weekend. So, Moncton, did I miss any Halloween “MUSTS”? Tell me… how are you celebrating the spookiest season?
Location: Elmwood Drive (across from the new Moncton High, Irishtown, NB
Ground Breaking: Fall 2014
Welcome to Baron Heights “country living at it’s finest”. This prestigious, country community is located next to the Irishtown Nature Park offering lots between 1-6 acres, ranging in price between $69,000-79,000. This gorgeous community is truly going to be the next high-end development in Moncton with admirers comparing it to Rural Estates in the North End,
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