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LOW-INCOME ENERGY NETWORK. Closing the energy affordability gap: Energy conservation and rate assistance LIEN Annual Conference, Hamilton June 20, 2007 Mary Todorow, ACTO Mary Truemner, ACTO. Major Gaps.

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Low income energy network


Closing the energy affordability gap:

Energy conservation and rate assistance

LIEN Annual Conference, Hamilton

June 20, 2007

Mary Todorow, ACTO

Mary Truemner, ACTO

Major gaps
Major Gaps

  • No comprehensive, province-wide low-income energy conservation program – and no national program

  • No permanent low-income rate assistance program

Where do low income consumers live
Where do low-income consumers live?

759,590 LICO households

  • 490,485 are tenant households (65%)

    • Live social housing or private sector rental – most in multi-residential buildings

  • 269,095 are homeowners (35%)

    • 39% are senior-led

  • Housing affordability
    Housing affordability

    • 42% of Ontario tenant households pay 30% or more of their household income on shelter costs (including utilities).

    • 66.4% of Ontario households in core housing need are tenant households - a significantly disproportionate share.

    • Smart Metering impact….

    Energy conservation and low income consumers
    Energy conservation and low-income consumers

    Conservation is the:



    fastest solution

    to our energy crisis

    BUT, it won’t happen in low-income residential sector without financial investment

    Low income rate assistance
    Low-income rate assistance

    • Ontario Home Energy Affordability Program

    • 5 major components: rate affordability, arrears management, crisis intervention, conservation & demand management and consumer protections

    • low-income consumers should not pay more than 6% of total household income on energy

    Low income rate assistance1
    Low-income rate assistance

    April 26, 2007 OEB decision – no jurisdiction to set affordable rates for low-income consumers

    -strong dissent decision by OEB Vice-Chair


    • LIEN is appealing decision to Divisional Court, and

    • LIEN has requested Minister of Energy to issue a directive to the OEB to hold a generic hearing to consider and implement solutions, including low-income rate assistance

    Lessons learned
    Lessons learned

    • Early days for renewed focus on conservation – responsibility shifting, capacity building

    • Strategic OEB interventions only

    • Need political will to make things happen

    Local advocacy
    Local advocacy

    • Educating and gaining support of MPs, MPPs, municipal councils and LDCs about need for low-income CDM programs and low-income rate assistance

    • Raising public awareness about energy poverty in the local community