The city of New Westminster is currently exploring the possibility of implementing income-based hydro rates for low-income residents. The aim is to provide affordable electricity services to those who need it most, and to address the growing issue of energy poverty in the community.
Income-based hydro rates would involve providing discounted electricity rates to individuals and families with low incomes. This approach recognizes that energy costs can be a significant burden for those living on limited incomes, often forcing them to make difficult choices between paying for basic necessities like housing, food, and electricity.
By implementing income-based hydro rates, New Westminster hopes to alleviate the financial strain faced by low-income residents, while also promoting energy conservation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This initiative would not only provide immediate relief to those struggling with high energy costs, but it would also contribute to long-term sustainability and social equity in the city.
In order to determine eligibility for discounted rates, the city would establish income thresholds based on the Low Income Measure (LIM), which is a commonly used indicator of poverty in Canada. Those who fall below the income threshold would be able to access the discounted hydro rates.
The proposal has garnered support from various community organizations, as well as local politicians. They argue that access to affordable electricity is a basic human right, and that income-based hydro rates can help tackle the issue of energy poverty and improve the overall well-being of low-income residents.
While New Westminster is still in the early stages of exploring this initiative, it joins a growing number of municipalities across Canada that are considering income-based hydro rates as a means to address energy poverty. As more communities recognize the importance of equitable energy access, it is likely that similar initiatives will be explored in the future.
– Business in Vancouver: https://biv.com/article/2021/10/new-west-explores-income-based-hydro-rates-low-income-residents
– Low Income Measure (LIM): https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/poverty-reduction/reports/low-income-measures.html