News & Events

LIEN Zoom Webinar on July 30, 2020

Title: “Support for residential energy customers impacted by COVID-19 – A webinar from the Low Income Energy Network (LIEN)”

What: On June 1, 2020, the Government of Ontario confirmed that it is making $9 million available for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP), to support residential customers struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. Utility companies began accepting applications for CEAP on July 13, 2020. Find out more about this program as well as other supports that are available to electricity and gas customers.

When: Jul 30, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. E.S.T.

Registration: To register for this webinar visit: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zHJ5dekoTg-sJo1ARgBuyQ

 

Conference Materials for 2019 LIEN annual conference - Toronto

 "Affordable Energy: Are We There Yet?"

Date: Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Time: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: Chestnut Residence & Conference Centre, Terrace Room (3rd floor), 89 Chestnut Street

CONFERENCE KIT

Agenda 2019

Acronyms 2019

LIEN 2-pager 2019

Info sheet on low-income energy financial assistance programs 2019

Info sheet on low-income energy retrofit programs 2019

List of participants 2019

Speaker bios 2019

Evaluation 2019

PRESENTATIONS

Energy sector changes: The impact on low-income consumers - Mark Winfield (York University)

PANEL: LIEN at the intersection of housing and environment - Mary Todorow (Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario/LIEN), Jacqueline Wilson (Canadian Environmental Law Association/LIEN)

LIEN’s energy affordability strategy - Zee Bhanji (LIEN coordinator)

Update on energy affordability in Ontario: Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP), the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), and low-income customer service rules - Donna Kinapen (Ontario Energy Board)

PANEL: Low-income conservation programs - Jennifer Cittadini (Enbridge Gas Distribution) & Carolyn Knight (Union Gas Limited), Candice Trickey (Independent Electricity System Operator), Henry Bernal (GreenSaver)

Register now for the 2019 LIEN annual conference

Register now for the 2019 LIEN annual conference, "Affordable Energy: Are We There Yet?", which will be held in Toronto! 

Date: Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Time: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: Chestnut Residence & Conference Centre, Terrace Room (3rd floor), 89 Chestnut Street

Let’s come together to take stock of current energy assistance programs and ensure that they meet the needs of low-income consumers in a manner that is equitable, sustainable, and holistic.

Join us at the LIEN annual conference to find out about:
 
• The current status of energy assistance programs in the province
• The role you and your organization can play in promoting and preserving current programs
• Free energy conservation and efficiency retrofit programs that help lower electricity and gas bills
• Financial assistance programs that help pay for electricity and gas bills on an ongoing or emergency basis
 
We hope that the conference results in new and increased collaboration, new approaches, and improved practices across the province.

This event is open to anyone with an interest in reducing energy poverty in Ontario, including:

• Community legal clinic staff
• Social service agencies
• Frontline service providers
• Affordable housing advocates
• Anti-poverty groups
• Utility representatives
• Government decision-makers

There is no registration fee for this conference and lunch will be provided, but we ask that you register as soon as possible so that we can order the right amount of food. Space is limited. Preference will be given to those who register by May 6, 2019
 
AGENDA

Registration is now closed.


 

 

Conference Materials for 2018 LIEN annual conference - Toronto

"Ensuring Universal Access to Energy"

Date: Friday, May 4, 2018
Time: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: 63 Gould Street, Oakham House, Ryerson University, Thomas Lounge (ground floor)

CONFERENCE KIT

Agenda 2018

Acronyms 2018

LIEN 2-pager 2018

Info sheet on low-income energy financial assistance programs 2018

Info sheet on low-income energy retrofit programs 2018

List of participants 2018

Speaker bios 2018

Evaluation 2018

PRESENTATIONS

Ontario's Electricity System and its Implications for the Future - Mark Winfield (York University)

Affordable energy programs for Ontario’s low-income consumers - Mary Todorow and Jennifer Lopinski (LIEN)

Update on LEAP, OESP, customer service rules - Donna Kinapen (OEB)

Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs - Scott Clark (Union Gas)

Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs - Cam Black (Enbridge Gas)

Centrally Managed Save on Energy Home Assistance Program - Nik Schruder (IESO)

Exploring Access to Energy as a Human Right - Adrienne Scott

Register now for the 2018 LIEN annual conference

Register now for the 2018 LIEN annual conference, "Ensuring Universal Access to Energy", which will be held in Toronto!  

Date: Friday, May 4, 2018
Time: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: 63 Gould Street, Oakham House, Ryerson University, Thomas Lounge (ground floor)

Let’s come together to share solutions, common challenges, and to celebrate our successes in helping low-income consumers meet their home energy needs.

Do you know what the Fair Hydro Plan is? Are you overwhelmed by the acronyms? Do you want to know what OESP, LEAP EFA, HAP, and CHPI stand for and how they may be able to assist you or your client to meet their energy needs?

Come to the LIEN annual conference to find out:
 
• Why electricity prices are rising
• Where to obtain  information on free energy conservation and efficiency retrofit programs to help you lower your electricity and gas bills
• How to apply for financial assistance to help you pay for your electricity and gas bills
• Energy as an aspect of the right to housing
 
Leave with an enhanced awareness and understanding of existing energy assistance and conservation programs.

We hope that the conference results in new and increased collaboration, new approaches, and improved practices across the province.

This event is open to anyone with an interest in reducing energy poverty in Ontario, including:
• Community legal clinic staff
• Social service agencies
• Frontline service providers
• Low-income advocates
• Anti-poverty groups
• Utility representatives
• Government decision-makers

 
Click on the link to view the DRAFT AGENDA

There is no registration fee for this conference and a gluten-free vegetarian lunch will be provided, but we ask that you register as soon as possible so that we can order the right amount of food. Space is limited. Preference will be given to those who register by April 27, 2018.
 

Registration is now closed

Conference Materials for 2017 LIEN annual conference - Kingston

Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: Confederation Place Hotel, 237 Ontario Street, Kingston

CONFERENCE MATERIALS

Agenda 2017

Acronyms 2017

Evaluation form 2017

LIEN 2-pager 2017

PRESENTATIONS

 Who Does What: An Explanation of Ontario’s Energy System: Mark Winfield, York University

The True Impact of Climate Change Policies on Consumers’ Electricity Bills: Keith Stewart, Greenpeace

Understanding Ontario’s Electricity Pricing and the new OEB Consumer Charter: Nancy Marconi, Ontario Energy Board

Helping Ontarians Reduce their Energy Burden: Francesca Dobbyn, United Way of Bruce Grey

Gas Utilities’ Low-Income Conservation Programs: Cam Black (Enbridge Gas Distribution), Margaret Nuttall (Union Gas Limited)

Know Your Bill: Components of a Typical Residential Electricity Bill: Stephen Sottile, Utilities Kingston

LIEN advocacy activity update: emerging issues, wrap up and going forward: Theresa McClenaghan (Canadian Environmental Law Association/LIEN), Mary Todorow (Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario/LIEN)

Register now for the 2017 LIEN annual conference

Register now for the 2017 LIEN annual conference, “Shedding Light on Ontario’s Energy Sector”, which will be held in Kingston this year! The event will be hosted by The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul.

Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: Confederation Place Hotel, 237 Ontario Street, Kingston

What:
An energy literacy conference that will provide you with the foundational information necessary to build knowledge, insight and understanding of essential energy issues that affect your everyday life.

Why:
To empower low-income communities by giving them the tools to engage more effectively with policymakers on energy issues that affect them.

Come to the LIEN annual conference to find out:

• Why electricity prices are rising and Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan
• How to understand your electricity bill
• Where to obtain information on free energy conservation and efficiency programs to help you lower your electricity and gas bills
• How to apply for financial assistance to help you pay for your electricity and gas bills

 

There is no registration fee for this conference and lunch will be provided, but we ask that you register as soon as possible so that we can order the right amount of food. Space is limited. Preference will be given to those who register by May 7, 2017.

FINAL AGENDA

Bus tickets to and from the Confederation Place Hotel will be generously provided by the Kingston Community Health Centres.

Registration is now closed.

 

Vulnerable Ontarians to see significant reductions in their electricity bills

For immediate release:

March 2, 2017

(Toronto) The Low-Income Energy Network (LIEN) welcomed the measures announced today in the Ontario Fair Hydro Plan which will provide households with an average 25 per cent reduction on their electricity costs, while low-income, northern and rural households will receive an even bigger reduction.

“Access to electricity is a necessity, not a luxury,” said Zee Bhanji, LIEN Coordinator. “Ontarians should not be forced to make difficult choices about whether to keep the lights and heat on, or pay for rent, food, medicine, clothing, transportation and other basic necessities.”

Under the enhanced Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP), low-income families will benefit from a 50 per cent increase in the monthly on-bill credits. In addition, the OESP credit will be available to more households. This will make a real difference for these Ontarians struggling to pay their bills.

Energy choices are limited in rural and northern Ontario, where there is a reliance on electricity for space heating and water heating. Access to water is effectively denied when those households have their electricity disconnected since water pumps cannot work without power. The expansion of the Rural and Remote Rate Protection program (RRRP) – the funding for which was doubled by the Ontario government last month - from about 350,000 to over 800,000 consumers will bring much needed relief for those paying very high distribution rates.

On-reserve First Nations residential electricity consumers will have their delivery charge on their bills removed completely.

LIEN has been working for more than 12 years with the provincial government on putting together the components of an energy poverty strategy. The Ontario Fair Hydro Plan builds on what has been achieved to date, ensuring sustained and effective electricity service affordability for low-income and other vulnerable Ontarians.

“These measures, together with the current low-income rate mitigation programs will make a substantial difference in the lives of vulnerable Ontarians,” said Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association and LIEN steering committee member.

LIEN looks forward to further assisting the government, the Ontario Energy Board and other stakeholders on the implementation of the Fair Hydro Plan, which is expected to be in place by this summer.

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For more information including interviews with a LIEN representative, please contact:
Zee Bhanji, LIEN Coordinator
416-597-5855 ext. 5167

New rules for energy retailers in 2017

On January 1, 2017, new rules come into effect regarding energy (electricity and/or natural gas) contracts and how energy retailers deal with residential and small business consumers. The rules include banning contracting with consumers at home. Many of these new rules were recommended by the OEB when it reviewed how well the Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010 has worked since 2011 to protect the interests of residential and small business consumers in their dealings with energy retailers.

Disconnected customers to get winter relief from Hydro One

MEDIA STATEMENT

December 7, 2016


Disconnected customers to get winter relief from Hydro One


The Low-Income Energy Network (LIEN) welcomes Hydro One’s announcement today that it is restoring electricity service to all of its residential customers who are currently living without power due to disconnection for bill payment arrears. Hydro One advises that they will be reaching out to each of these 1,425 customers to assist them in addressing the financial difficulties that led to their loss of service.

This new Winter Relief program is in addition to Hydro One Inc.’s voluntary policy of not disconnecting service for bill payment arrears during the winter season (i.e. usually from Dec. 1 to March 31).

LIEN is encouraged by Hydro One’s promise of a proactive and comprehensive approach to resolving payment difficulties for its vulnerable customers while continuing to provide essential electricity service, particularly for those who heat their home with electricity. Hydro One’s recognition that vulnerable, low-income customers face particular hardships and that they should be assisted rather than penalized is an important step forward in better addressing the energy needs of these Ontarians. Many low-income individuals face difficult financial pressures on a daily basis to meet their basic needs such as paying for rent, utilities, transportation, food, medicine and other necessities. This announcement from Hydro One is a positive step in supporting low-income customers who are unable to pay the rising cost of electricity in the province, as we await the cold winter months ahead.

LIEN looks forward to ongoing work with the government and Ontario utility companies on solutions to energy affordability.


For more information including interviews with a LIEN representative, please contact:
Zee Bhanji, LIEN Coordinator
416-597-5855 ext. 5167

About LIEN

The Low-Income Energy Network (LIEN) was formed in 2004 by anti-poverty, affordable housing and environmental groups in response to the impact of rising energy prices on low-income Ontarians. LIEN promotes programs and policies which tackle the problems of energy poverty and homelessness, reduce Ontario's contribution to smog and climate change, and promote a healthy economy through the more efficient use of energy, a transition to renewable sources of energy, education and consumer protection.

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Low-Income Energy Network (LIEN)
c/o Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO)
1500 - 55 University Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, M5J 2H7
Phone: 416-597-5855 ext. 5167
Toll-free: 1-866-245-4182 ext. 5167
Fax: 416-597-5821
Email: info@lowincomeenergy.ca