Authors

Deryk King

Abstract

Across North America, a growing number of families are threatened by a relatively ambiguous, but long-standing issue. While not easily categorized; a commonly-used, but misleading term for this condition is fuel (or energy) poverty – which refers to the challenge some households face accessing adequate, affordable energy.

While this issue has been addressed in some corridors, information and discussion surrounding energy poverty is vague – however as economic tides turn and the social fallout follows, the issue is gaining a concerned foothold in the newsrooms, boardrooms and legislatures across North America.

Energy poverty appears to be a symptomatic reality of the poverty cycle, rather than simply about the inability to pay an energy bill. However we shouldn’t consider the limitations of the definition. The problem with many definitions is that they bound issues and unintentionally marginalize or exclude those that are out of scope of these definitions and boundaries. Rather the focus should be on asking the right questions that get to the heart of the issue, so we can collaboratively find solutions – and identify those who are at risk.

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