On June 1, 2020, the Government of Ontario confirmed that it is making $9 million available for COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP), to support residential customers struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. By letter dated August 4, 2020, the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and the Associate Minister of Energy confirmed that it is allocating a further $8 million to assist small businesses and charities through the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program – Small Business (CEAP-SB). The letter asked for the OEB’s support to implement CEAP-SB, and to take action as necessary to ensure licensed electricity distributors, unit sub-meter providers (USMP) and natural gas distributors provide CEAP-SB to their small business and charity customers.
To support the implementation of CEAP-SB, on August 7, 2020, the OEB issued a Decision and Order amending the licences of electricity distributors and unit sub-meter providers to require them to deliver CEAP-SB to their eligible customers. The OEB also issued letters to four natural gas distributors setting out its expectations for their delivering CEAP-SB to their eligible gas customers.
The OEB further issued a Decision and Order on August 10, 2020, amending the Independent Electricity System Operator’s Licence to require it to assist with the administration of CEAP-SB.
The program will launch on August 31, 2020.