On April 29, 2020, the Ontario Energy Association (OEA) released a policy paper outlining ways the Ontario government can reduce its nearly $6 billion of annual spending on electricity subsidies, while still offering targeted financial relief to those who need it most. In its paper, Help Those Who Need Help, the OEA notes the Ontario government spends roughly $6 billion annually subsidizing electricity rates for households, the majority of which do not need the subsidy.
Should the government remain on the same trajectory, it will spend at least $228 billion over the next 25 years subsidizing electricity rates.
This report can be read here.
COVID-19 ENERGY UPDATES & RESOURCES
During the COVID-19 crisis, the OEA wants to ensure Ontarians that our energy sector is taking all necessary steps to ensure the continued safe operation of our energy infrastructure. Our highest priority is to ensure the continuity of vital electricity and natural gas services to all households, businesses and service providers during this time.
The Ontario Energy Association (OEA) understands that this is an unprecedented and challenging time for many Ontario households. For households who are having difficulty with their energy bill at this time, we encourage you to contact your local utility who can assist and advise on the options available to manage bill payment challenges.
Ontario’s utilities have all suspended disconnections until July 31st, 2020 to provide all Ontario households the reassurance they will have access to vital energy services during the COVID19 crisis.
Below is some additional information to support and assist families, businesses and energy customers of Ontario. The OEA will continually update this list as more information becomes available.
Difficulty Paying Your Bill? Contact Your Utility.
If you are experiencing hardship or facing difficulty regarding bill payments, please contact your utilities provider immediately to discuss your options, which may include extended bill payment options and financial assistance programs.
The Ontario Energy Support Program (OESP) is an Ontario Energy Board (OEB) program that lowers electricity bills for lower-income households. The OESP provides a monthly credit to eligible customers based on household income and household size. The OESP credits are applied directly to eligible customers’ bills.
The program is available to all lower-income customers who have accounts with electricity distributors or unit sub-meter providers. Customers must apply to the program.
Customers can apply online at OntarioElectricitySupport.ca.
(If the link does not work, please click the URL below or paste it into a browser: https://ontarioelectricitysupport.ca/)
The Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA) is an emergency financial assistance program developed by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to assist low-income energy customers. It is a grant program intended to provide emergency relief and is not intended to provide regular or ongoing bill payment assistance. Certain criteria is required to qualify for these programs, and must go through one of the intake agencies in Ontario. Please contact your electricity or natural gas provider or unit sub-metering provider, who will refer you to the social service agency serving the area in which you reside. As part of its COVID19 response, the provincial government has announced an expansion of this program.
For more application information, please visit the Ontario Energy Board website.
(If the link does not work, please click the URL below or paste it into a browser: https://www.oeb.ca/rates-and-your-bill/help-low-income-consumers/low-income-energy-assistance-program.)
- The OEA highly recommends contacting your utilities provider to discuss the options available to you. Most service providers offer payment plans.
- The Ontario Native Welfare Administrators Association (ONWAA) is available to assist Indigenous households with their applications. Indigenous households can contact ONWAA at 1-844-885-3157 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm their availability.
- Effective March 19, 2020, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has extended the current ban on electricity disconnections for non-payment for all residential customers to July 31, 2020. Low-volume, small business customers will now also be protected by the ban. In addition, the OEB is calling on distributors to be more flexible on arrears payment arrangements.
- You may also contact 211 Ontario to find out more about other programs that you may qualify for.
Ontario Providing Electricity Relief to Families, Small Businesses and Farms During COVID-19 – Government of Ontario, March 24, 2020
Ontario to slash hydro rates to offset costs of working from home amid coronavirus pandemic – The Globe and Mail, March 24, 2020
OEB COVID-19 Update – Ontario Energy Board, March 18, 2020
COVID-19 watch: How Ontario’s energy sector is responding to ‘the big one’ – QP Briefing, March 16, 2020
New Ontario Energy Board customer service rules strengthen consumer protection – Ontario Energy Board, March 5, 2020
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan – Government of Canada
Energy Financial Assistance – The Low-Income Energy Network
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!
ONTARIO ENERGY ASSOCIATION
The Ontario Energy Association (OEA) is the credible and trusted voice of the energy sector. We earn our reputation by being an integral and influential part of energy policy development and decision making in Ontario. We represent Ontario’s energy leaders that span the full diversity of the energy industry.
The OEA takes a grassroots approach to policy development by combining thorough evidence based research with executive interviews and member polling. This unique approach ensures our policies are not only grounded in rigorous research, but represent the views of the majority of our members. This sound policy foundation allows us to advocate directly with government decision makers to tackle issues of strategic importance to our members.