By August 30, 2017 Read More →

Energy poverty across Canada – lower efficiency in lower income households

fuel poverty

Fuel poverty average across provinces Source: NEB

Fuel poverty worse in Saskatchewan and Atlantic provinces

In 2015, Canadian households spent an average of nearly three per cent of their total income on electricity, natural gas and heating oil, according to the National Energy Board.

A household may be described as experiencing energy poverty when it spends more than 10 per cent of its income on utilities. By this measure, an estimated 8 per cent of Canadian households experience energy poverty.

Not including the northern territories, which face unique energy challenges, households in the Atlantic provinces and Saskatchewan experience the most energy poverty in Canada.

Households in these provinces spent over $500 more on utilities per year than the Canadian average of $2,105 in 2015, and experienced rates of 13 per cent (Atlantic provinces) and 10 per cent (Saskatchewan).


Household income levels are a primary determinant of energy poverty. Lower income households are generally the most affected and usually spend a larger percentage of their income on utilities.

Additionally, higher income households can more easily invest in improving their home’s energy efficiency, and residential electricity and natural gas intensity tends to decrease in higher income households.

To address the challenges, provincial and federal governments have introduced energy efficiency rebates targeted at both rental owners and low income households.

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Posted in: Canada

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