Rising energy prices can mean that some people will have to choose between eating, heating, and paying the rent. Energy conservation measures (like draft-proofing and more efficient furnaces or appliances) meet people's energy needs while using less fuel. These are the fastest, cheapest, and cleanest solution to the challenge of energy poverty. But the up-front investments are often out of the reach of low-income households.
TEA believes that we can fight both poverty and pollution. That is why we helped to found the Low Income Energy Network (LIEN) in 2004 to raise awareness of implications for low-income families of increases in energy prices and to suggest solutions.
LIEN's mandate is to ensure universal access for all Ontarians to adequate energy while minimizing the impacts on health and on the local and global environment.
LIEN promotes programs and policies which tackle the problems of energy poverty and homelessness, which reduce Ontario's contribution to smog and climate change and promote a healthy economy through renewable and energy efficient technologies.
Working with other environmental anti-poverty and affordable housing groups, we have proposed a comprehensive program, Low income energy conservation and assistance that delivers energy conservation to low-income consumers. It permanently reduces bills and pollution, provides bill payment support and emergency assistance to those who need it and educates consumers and policy makers on low-income energy issues.