COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP)
There are programs available to help low-income consumers. Find out more at oeb.ca/billhelp. The government is also providing $9 million to support residential customers who are in arrears on their energy bills as a result of COVID-19. The OEB received a letter from the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and the Associate Minister of Energy asking for the OEB’s support to implement the new COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) for residential customers. More information about eligibility and how to apply will be made available in the coming weeks.
The government is also providing $8 million to support small business customers that are struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of COVID-19, through a program similar to CEAP, the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB). More information about this program will be made available when those details have been determined.
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.
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.
Conservation programs are available to help customers reduce their energy use. Some of these are special programs for low-income customers. Visit www.saveonenergy.ca for tips and information about the Home Assistance Program. 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. The fund is 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.