A number of special programs are available in Ontario to help low-income energy consumers. You need to meet certain criteria to qualify for these programs:
Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP)
This program provides low-income consumers with a monthly on-bill credit to reduce their electricity bill. This program provides ongoing help.
Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
This program provides a one-time grant towards your electricity or natural gas bill if you are behind on your bill and may face having your service shut off. It is for emergency situations.
The OEB is reviewing LEAP EFA and is encouraging consumers to have their say.
Special rules for low-income customers
Electricity utilities and unit sub-metering providers have to follow special rules when dealing with low-income customers; for example, waiving security deposits, allowing longer payment times and allowing payment times under arrears payment plans.
We have rules in place to ensure that all residential electricity customers across the province are treated fairly when it comes to customer service, including disconnections and re-connection. Learn more about the rules for all customers.
Natural gas utilities whose rates are set by the Ontario Energy Board all have customer service standards and practices for residential customers that are similar to those we require electricity utilities to follow, including policies specific to low-income customers.
All electricity utilities, as well as natural gas utilities whose rates are set by the Ontario Energy Board, are required to offer energy conservation programs as a way of helping their customers reduce their energy use. Some of these are special programs for low-income customers. If you’re an electricity customer, you can find out more about these programs at www.saveonenergy.ca. For natural gas customers, consult your local utility’s website.
If you don’t qualify for LEAP or OESP but you’re having trouble keeping up with your electricity bill and the cost of energy-saving upgrades is out of reach, the AffordAbility Fund™ can help. Established as part of the Ontario Fair Hydro Plan, it’s designed to help lower your monthly electricity costs by improving the energy efficiency of your home. See what level of support you qualify for. You may qualify for free upgrades, including ENERGY STAR® certified LED bulbs, appliances, insulation and weatherstripping. Learn more.