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Time for Energy Rate Affordability Program in Ontario

For immediate release:
March 25, 2014

(Toronto) As the Low-Income Energy Network celebrates its 10th anniversary today at its annual symposium, the top line message from the conference is the need for an energy rate affordability program in Ontario.

LIEN has been advocating a comprehensive solution to energy poverty in Ontario over the last ten years. From emergency energy assistance, to low-income energy conservation programs, to better terms of service for low-income consumers, there has been great progress in the province. But the missing link is an Energy Rate Affordability Program to make sure that electricity bills are within reach for low income consumers. LIEN advocates a province wide program that sets a threshold of 6% of total household income as the maximum amount that low-income consumers should have to pay for their total energy bills - for heating and non-heating energy uses. Above that threshold, difficult choices have to be made between food, rent, electricity, medication and other essentials.

The work LIEN has done demonstrates that low-income energy affordability programs are good for utilities and their ratepayers too, because bills become much more manageable for the lowest income consumers.

Today, LIEN has sent a letter to all of Ontario's provincial party leaders, urging them to support a low income energy rate affordability program for Ontario.
Letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne
Letter to Hon. Tim Hudak
Letter to Hon. Andrea Horwath
Letter to Mike Schreiner  



For further information, please contact:

Theresa McClenaghan
Executive Director & Counsel
Canadian Environmental Law Association
Cell: 416.662.8341

Zee Bhanji
Low-Income Energy Network
Tel: 416.597.5855 ext. 5167

Mary Todorow
Policy Analyst
Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario
Tel: 416-597-5855 ext. 5173

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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