Energy poverty in Canada: Social and geographic inequalities

By Mylène Riva
Between 6% and 19% of Canadian households are currently grappling with energy poverty, according to data sourced from the 2017 Survey of Household Spending. This research delves into the social and geographic distribution of this phenomenon across the country. The study reveals that certain household types, such as those with single occupants, lone parents, or older members, face significantly higher odds of experiencing energy poverty. Geographical disparities are evident, with households in Atlantic provinces and rural areas facing nearly double the odds of energy poverty compared to other regions. These findings underscore the socio-spatial patterning of energy poverty in Canada and highlight its variability across different locales.

Achieving deep-energy retrofits for households in energy poverty

By Laura Tozer, Hannah MacRae and Emily Smit
This systematic review identifies which factors influence the achievement of energy retrofits for households vulnerable to energy poverty. The results identify a range of influential factors across several themes: financial, policy, organizational, trust, communication, technical, attitudes, and health. Quality of life, health, trust, and communication are particularly influential motivating factors among households vulnerable to energy poverty. Financial considerations such as the availability of no-cost retrofits and the prospect of lower costs are also important. Government requirements to retrofit and minimum energy standards are motivating, particularly in the social housing sector.

Justice in energy transitions

By Stephen Williams and Andréanne Doyon
As the climate crisis grows, energy systems are transitioning to renewable and sustainable alternatives. However, these transitions often lead to injustice and inequities. Transitions research must better consider justice in its analysis. Drawing from environmental and energy justice literature, we consider justice for people, communities, and the non-living in transitions research through the development of an analytical framework. The framework provides reflective practice to support distributive, procedural, and recognition justice.

A just energy transition for Indigenous Peoples: From ideal deliberation to fairness in Canada and Australia

By Fabienne Rioux-Gobeil
In response to the climate crisis, renewable energy projects are being developed around the world and mostly, on Indigenous traditional territories. In countries such as Canada and Australia, the questions of Indigenous national sovereignties are still unclear and unresolved which causes complex issues of unequal power relations. About energy security, resurgence and self-determination, the energy transition could be the promise of great opportunities for Indigenous peoples. However, to benefit from renewable energy projects, they have to be in a position to fairly defend their interests.

Energy poverty: An overlooked determinant of health and climate resilience in Canada

By Mylène Riva
Even though Canada is a significant energy producer, not all Canadians have access to or can afford sufficient energy services at home to fulfill their needs, maintain comfortable indoor temperatures, and lead decent lives—a circumstance referred to as energy poverty. This research, the first of its kind in the Canadian context, examines the connection between energy poverty and health. It demonstrates that experiencing energy poverty is linked to a significantly higher probability of poor physical and mental health. Considering the substantial portion of Canadian households affected by energy poverty and its demonstrated impact on public health, addressing this issue is crucial for ensuring an equitable energy transition and enhancing climate resilience.

Reciprocal training: An instrument of epistemic justice in the campaign for a just energy transition

By Laurence Brière, Guillaume Moreau, Maude Prud’homme, Isabel Orellana, Marie-Ève Marleau, Martine Chatelain and Marie-Pier Lafrance
The eco-citizen movement for an energy transition is working to transform the dominant economic-energy system with a view to social justice and respect for the environment. By collaborating with stakeholders in this mobilization as part of an action-research project, we raised the epistemic justice issues inherent in this political project, and attempted to create spaces for reciprocal training, highlighting the diversity of types of knowledge. An innovative conceptual framework for energy justice was proposed, taking into account the very concrete realities of eco-citizen struggles and initiatives.