Low-Income Energy Network Applauds Proactive Step
The Ontario government has just announced that it is moving to set up an electricity affordability program for low-income Ontarians.
This is great news for low-income consumers of electricity and great news for the Low-Income Energy Network (LIEN). LIEN has been advocating with the government for this kind of program since 2006, as part of a comprehensive approach to reducing energy poverty in Ontario.
Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli announced yesterday that he sent a directive to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to develop the Ontario Electricity Support Program. The directive tells the OEB that the government wants the program to do three things:
- it should be in place by January 1, 2016
- it should give low-income electricity consumers a similar reduction to what they receive from the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit
- it should operate so that the reduction is automatically applied to the electricity bills that low-income Ontario consumers receive.
You can read the Minister’s directive here. And the government’s backgrounder on the Ontario Electricity Support Program has more details.
The directive also says that the OEB must consult with communities and stakeholders to create the program, and report back on the new program by December 1, 2014.
LIEN issued this press release yesterday, applauding the government for taking this proactive step to address energy poverty. For more information about the rate affordability model that LIEN has been proposing, you can watch this webinar.
LIEN has already said that they will take part in the OEB’s consultations, which will undoubtedly start soon. Watch for more information from LIEN – and use this information to contact them to find out how you can get involved in making sure that the Ontario Electricity Support Program is set up in a way that meets the needs of low-income energy consumers.
The Low-Income Energy Network was founded in 2004 by our partner clinics the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO), us here at ISAC, and many other groups (you can see the full list of members here).
Congratulations to LIEN for their perseverance and for continuing to advocate for this important program for so many years!