We offer programs to help lower-income customers with their electricity bills. One of them is the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP). It provides monthly on-bill credits for lower-income customers to reduce their electricity bills.
Do you qualify?
If you’re a customer of an electricity utility and have a total household income that falls below a certain limit, you may qualify for a reduction on your electricity bill through the OESP. It’s also available to people living in homes that have sub-meters (apartments, condos, co-ops and trailers, for example) where each unit has an individual meter and the resident's electricity bill comes from a company other than their utility.
You must apply for this program.
If you’re eligible for the OESP, an ongoing credit is applied to your electricity bill. Learn more and complete the application on the Ontario Electricity Support Program website.
What support could I receive?
The amount of the credit depends on two factors:
- How many people live in the home
- Your combined household income
For example, a home with four people and an annual income of $37,000 will receive an on-bill credit of $51 each month. This chart shows the different credit amounts.
OESP credit amounts
The OESP is changing to offer more support for lower-income electricity consumers. Read our news release announcing the changes that take effect on May 1, 2017.
Amounts effective May 1, 2017:
|Level of household income ($)||Number of people living in home|
|Less than 28,000||$45||$45||$51||$57||$63||$75||$75|
|28,001 – 39,000||$40||$45||$51||$57||$63||$75|
|39,001 – 48,000||$35||$40||$45||$51||$57|
|48,001 – 52,000||$35||$40||$45|
If your home is electrically heated, or you rely on certain medical devices requiring a lot of power, the OESP offers a higher level of assistance. Lower-income Indigenous Ontarians also qualify for a higher level of assistance.
How to apply?
Step 1: Gather information
- Your electricity bill
- Names and birthdates of all the residents in your home as registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
- Social Insurance Numbers (SINs), Individual Tax Numbers or temporary taxation numbers for all household members who are 18 and older.
Step 2: Complete the application
There are three ways to apply:
- Online – Apply now at OntarioElectricitySupport.ca and mail the consent form to the address on the OESP website. (the CRA needs your consent to verify your income). This is the fastest way to apply.
- On Paper – Complete the application and sign the consent forms (the CRA needs your consent to verify your income). Mail them back to the address on the OESP website. You can download the documents from OntarioElectricitySupport.ca
- Through an Intake Agency – Contact a designated intake agency near you if you would like help with your application. There is no cost for this service. Find an agency near you.
- Note: If you have not filed an income tax return recently, or if your situation has changed since you last filed, you must apply for OESP through an intake agency. You’ll need to bring all of the documents listed in step 1 above, plus proof of your household income.
What happens after you apply?
We’ll let you know if you qualify for OESP about four to six weeks after your completed application and signed consent forms have been received. If you qualify, the credit will appear directly on your electricity bill in about 6 to 8 weeks after you have been approved. You will receive OESP credits on your bill for 2 years before having to reapply.
Are there other programs to help low-income consumers?
If you qualify for OESP, you may also be qualified to apply for emergency financial assistance grants through the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), should you need them and if funds are available. LEAP is for eligible low-income electricity and natural gas customers.
Special rules for low-income customers
There are special customer service rules for low-income customers. See how they might help you.
Ontario Electricity Support Program
PO Box 1540, Station B