Support for lower-income electricity consumers will increase by 50 per cent and more consumers will be eligible for assistance under changes to the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP), which take effect May 1, 2017.
The OESP increase translates to an additional $180 to $300 per year for households in monthly, on-bill OESP credits, depending on their size and annual income. For example:
- A one-person household earning $28,000 or less could now receive $45 per month.
- A four-person household earning under $48,000 (up from $39,000) could now qualify for $40 per month.
- Households with seven people earning a total of $39,000 or less could receive $75 per month.
“The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) designed and implemented the OESP to help protect vulnerable consumers and provide support for those who need it most,” says Rosemarie Leclair, OEB Chair and CEO. “We encourage customers who want to find out more to contact us, their utility or an OESP intake agency to see if they qualify for assistance.”
Consumers who live in homes which are electrically heated, or who rely on certain medical devices requiring a lot of power, qualify for a higher level of OESP assistance. Indigenous consumers also qualify for a higher level of assistance. For example, a three-member household earning between $39,001 and $48,000 could now qualify for $52 per month, under broadened OESP eligibility thresholds.
Consumers already in the program or who were recently enrolled, will automatically receive a credit adjustment. Others can check to see if they are eligible for assistance under the enhanced program at OntarioElectricitySupport.ca.
Since it was launched by the OEB on Jan. 1, 2016, the OESP program has provided monthly on-bill credits to more than 153,000 lower-income households.
For more information, give us a call at 1-855-831-8151 (toll-free) or visit the OESP website at OntarioElectricitySupport.ca.