Energy poverty is a significant and growing issue for many Calgarians. According to a report by All One Sky Foundation energy poverty refers to “individuals who are unable to afford the energy/fuel needed to maintain their life, particularly as related to heating/cooling.” It is reported that 1 in 6 (255,000) Alberta households experienced energy poverty in 2011. Of those, half were homeowners, 82% had no full-time earner and about 1/3 were seniors. Energy poverty can lead to other serious impacts including compromised health and safety, financial struggles, legal issues and increased social isolation.
The impacts of climate change are being increasingly felt, lending urgency to efforts to combat it. As climate change strategies are under development at the local, provincial and federal level, the needs of low-income households need to be fully understood and incorporated into such strategies. Low-income households are often the least energy efficient and may therefore be significantly impacted by price-based energy efficiency programs. Such households would also benefit the most from increased home efficiency, yet are also often the least able to afford efficiency improvements. Going forward, all levels of governments in Canada will grapple with the downstream impacts of carbon pricing on low-income families.
The Energy Poverty Roundtable is a network of organizations that meets to prepare the community for price-based energy efficiency programs, to better understand the issue of energy poverty and to develop solutions to address it.Members of the Energy Poverty Roundtable include:
For more information about the Energy Poverty Roundtable please email us.