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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

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:

cheapest,

cleanest,

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

Response:

  • 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
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