Authored by Dr. Wayne Simpson
Public Utilities Board Order 73/15 of July 24, 2015 directed Manitoba Hydro to “lead a collaborative process to develop a bill affordability program harmonized with Manitoba Hydro’s other programs supporting low-income ratepayers” (p.96). In response to this Order, Manitoba Hydro convened a Bill Affordability Working Group with Manitoba Hydro representatives and interested stakeholders. The Working Group commissioned research and issued a Summary Report and Recommendations in January, 2017 (Appendix 10.5), hereafter referred to as the Report, and all subsequent page references are to this Report unless otherwise indicated.
The Report lists the Working Group’s objectives (pp.12-13) as including:
- creation of a “made-in-Manitoba definition of energy poverty” to study its nature and impact in Manitoba,
- assessment of existing programs aimed at energy affordability for low-income citizens,
- analysis of Manitoba Hydro customer arrears (unpaid bills),
- analysis of the impact of projected rate increases on low-income customers, and
- provision of recommendations for new or improved programming to address energy poverty.
This report provides an assessment of that study. See full report