Empower Me’s Managing Director presents in Ottawa about designing and implementing energy efficiency programs in underserved communities
Ottawa, ON – Empower Me’s Managing Director, Yasmin Abraham, was given the prestegious opportunity to present to The House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources this week to assist them in their study of the economic opportunities for energy efficiency in Canada, and its contributions to the Canadian Paris Climate Change commitments.
Accompanied by Karim Abraham, CEO of Kambo Energy Group – Empower Me’s parent company – Yasmin spoke about the social enterprise’s experience and learnings developing and implementing energy efficiency programs in indigenous communities and underserved populations as well as the need to address energy poverty at a national level.
Empower Me is Canada’s only energy efficiency program designed specifically for and delivered by members of hard to reach communities. The executive team has been at the forefront of energy poverty reduction programs since the late 1990s and welcomed the chance to share their experience on a Federal level. Currently there is no national program to support and protect Canadians struggling to pay their utility bills.
During the ten minute presentation, Yasmin Abraham and Karim Abraham made two recommendations to the Committee:
Energy efficiency programs should be implementation and performance focused
If the goal of energy efficiency programs is to reduce energy consumption, the reduced energy consumption should be the verified deliverable to encourage a cohesive, innovative and accountable industry. In 2018 Energy Efficiency Alberta (EEA) supported Empower Me to design, deliver, and build the province’s first program to support the 300,000 Albertan families struggling to pay their utility bills. The goal was to maximize the energy savings in energy poor households and build one of most economical, inclusive, and effective solutions to addressing energy poverty.
Energy efficiency programs should be Inclusive for all Canadians
By 2035 Statistics Canada is projecting 25-31% of Canada’s population will be immigrants, the indigenous population is growing four times faster than the rest of the country, and by 2031 23% will be seniors. In addition over 2.8 million people struggle to pay their utility bills. Governments must take these populations and their unique needs into account when designing the application of their programs.