Ontario pitches support for electric bills

TORONTO - Applications for the CEAP program for Ontario residential consumers has opened. Residential customers across the province can now apply for funding through their local distribution company/utility.

On June 1st, our government announced a suite of initiatives to support Ontario’s electricity consumers, including a $9 million investment to support low-income Ontarians through the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). CEAP will provide a one-time payment to Ontarians who are struggling to pay down overdue electricity bills incurred during the COVID-19 outbreak.

These initiatives include:

  • $9 million for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) to support consumers struggling to pay their energy bills during the pandemic. CEAP will provide one-time payments to consumers to help pay down any electricity bill debt incurred over the COVID19 period. Applications will be available through local utilities in the upcoming months;
  • $8 million for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) to provide support to businesses struggling with bill payments as a result of the outbreak; and
  • An extension of the Ontario Energy Board’s winter disconnection ban until July 31, 2020 to ensure no one is disconnected from their natural gas or electricity service during these uncertain times.

More information about applications for the CEAP for Small Business will be coming later this summer.

In addition, the government recently announced that it will continue the suspension of time-of-use (TOU) electricity rates and, starting on June 1, 2020, customers will be billed based on a new fixed COVID-19 Recovery Rate of 12.8 cents per kilowatt hour. The COVID-19 Recovery Rate will be in place until October 31, 2020.

“Starting November 1, 2020, our government has announced Ontario electricity consumers will have the option to choose between time-of-use and tiered electricity pricing plan. We are proud to soon offer Ontarians the ability to choose an electricity plan that best suits for their lifestyle,” said Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont–Dundas–South Glengarry.

The government will continue to subsidize electricity bills by 31.8 per cent through the Ontario Electricity Rebate.

The government is providing approximately $5.6 billion in 2020-21 as part of its existing electricity cost relief programs, to help ensure more affordable electricity bills for eligible residential, farm and small business consumers.


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