Policy on low-income consumers in the provision of public utilities: the situation in Canada in the water and energy sectors (in French only)


Union des consommateurs




This study examines different means employed by utilities companies, the public sector or private companies to guarantee accessibility makes it possible to measure the extent to which low-income consumers are taken into account in the delivery of public utilities considered essential, such as water, electricity and natural gas. Ideally, these measures should ensure that low-income households enjoy access to public utilities at a reasonable cost, which takes into account their ability to pay and their budgetary realities. The study concludes that certain gaps exist when it comes to taking low-income households into consideration as regards the terms and conditions offered by public utilities providers. Unless adequate measures are implemented, the instability and rising costs of the energy markets will contribute to the imposition of an increasingly heavy economic burden on low-income households. Consequently, it is important that all concerned parties envisage, as soon as possible, the elaboration and implementation of effective measures to lessen the burden that these services, most of which are essential, represent for the most disadvantaged households.

This document is available in the following language(s):

Third-Party Information Liability Disclaimer

Some of the information on this Web page has been provided by external sources. The Government of Canada is not responsible for the accuracy, reliability or currency of the information supplied by external sources. Users wishing to rely upon this information should consult directly with the source of the information. Content provided by external sources is not subject to official languages, privacy and accessibility requirements.

French only

OCA Funded Research
This research received funding support through the Office of Consumer Affairs' Contributions Program.

Contact information

Union des consommateurs
7000 Parc Ave, Suite 201
Montreal, QC  H3N 1X1
(514) 521-6820
(514) 521-0736

Source: Consumer Policy Research Database

Date Modified: