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Energy Costs to be Dumped on Tenants?

TORONTO - The Ontario government is paving the way for landlords to unilaterally dump energy costs on tenants. Installing sub-metering in apartment buildings would be ineffective and unfair, charge critics in a report to be released today.

The report, Zapping Tenants: a critical analysis of sub-metering in the residential rental sector, will be released today, Thursday, May 5 at 1:00 p.m. in the Queen's Park Media Studio.

"We should be looking at the best way to conserve energy in rental housing, not the best way to put money in the pockets of the private meter companies," says Keith Stewart of the Toronto Environmental Alliance. "That's why we are putting forward a proposal for a balanced system which protects both the environment and low-income tenants."

"The government's proposal to snatch a few kilowatt hours off the grid by shifting rapidly rising energy costs to tenants penalizes Ontario's lowest income residents. It also ignores the more effective conservation gains that could be made by landlords," says Julia McNally, Staff Lawyer at the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO).

American energy expert, Roger Colton, of Fisher Sheehan and Colton (Boston) will share U.S. sub-metering experience and research. "Imposing increased energy costs on tenants through individual meters threatens the affordability of basic shelter for low-income tenants. This despite the fact that sub-meters are almost never justifiable on an economic or energy conservation basis," says Roger Colton.

Click here for the full report and here for a background document on sub-metering.

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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