Abstract

Energy poverty, defined as households spending more than 10 percent of their income on energy expenditures, is a prevalent issue affecting about one fifth of residents in Ontario. It is caused by economic and social conditions, as well as a lack of energy efficiency. A number of solutions and proposals are being presented at the local, provincial and federal levels to reduce the suffering of energy poverty; however a comprehensive plan has not been put into effect. This reflects a lack of public awareness regarding the issue, as well as an unwillingness to accept access to energy as a basic human right for all Canadians. A comprehensive plan needs to be devised to help combat the roots of energy poverty, and to provide a structured plan of assistance to those in need. Reactive approaches to alleviating energy poverty will not help to reduce the problem.

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