The Government of Ontario is providing $9 million to support residential customers struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) is delivered directly by electricity and natural gas utilities and unit sub-meter providers (USMPs), further to rules laid out by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB).
CEAP is a one time, on-bill credit for eligible residential electricity and natural gas customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments.
CEAP funding is limited. Utilities and USMPs are expected to process applications in the order in which they are received. Submitting an application for CEAP to your utility or USMP does not guarantee funding.
Residential electricity and natural gas customers may be eligible for CEAP funding if they meet the following criteria:
- The customer has an account with a utility or a USMP. Only the customer who is the account holder can submit an application for CEAP.
- The customer’s account was in good standing on March 17, 2020, and the customer was not enrolled in an arrears payment agreement for amounts owing prior to March 17, 2020. However, customers that enrolled in an arrears payment agreement for amounts that became owing after March 17, 2020 are eligible for CEAP.
- The customer failed to make complete payment for the electricity/gas charges (as applicable) on at least two bills issued since March 17, 2020, and has an overdue balance on the date of their application for CEAP.
The customer, or their spouse or common-law partner that resides in the same residence:
- Is unemployed on the date of their application for CEAP; and
- Has received Employment Insurance or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) since March 17, 2020
The customer is required to confirm that this is the case on their CEAP application form.
In the case of an electricity customer, the customer has not received emergency financial assistance for their electricity bills under the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) in 2020, and has not received funding under the Ontario Electricity Support Program in 2020.
In the case of a natural gas customer, the customer has not received emergency financial assistance for their natural gas bills under LEAP in 2020.
CEAP Benefit Amounts
Electricity customers may qualify for a one-time CEAP credit for half of the electricity charges that are overdue on the date of their application for CEAP, up to a maximum of $115.
The CEAP credit can be higher for eligible electricity customers if their home is mainly heated by electricity or they use one of three at-home energy-intensive medical devices (kidney dialysis, mechanical ventilator or oxygen concentrator). In that case, they may qualify for a one-time CEAP credit for half of the electricity charges that are overdue on the date of their application, up to a maximum of $230.
Natural gas customers may qualify for half of the natural gas charges that are overdue on the date of their application, up to a maximum of $160 for Northern Ontario, or up to a maximum of $80 elsewhere in the province. Northern Ontario is defined as Enbridge’s Union Gas North West or North East rate zones.
How to Apply
Beginning July 13, 2020, apply for CEAP through your electricity or natural gas utility or USMP. Each may have a unique approach for application in-take.
Utilities and USMPs are making the CEAP application form available on their websites and directly to any residential customer that requests it. At a minimum, customers can apply for CEAP by email or mail. Some utilities and USMPs may also have the capability to allow their customers to apply online or by phone. Contact your utility or USMP to find out what options are available.
Utilities and USMPs are expected to process applications in the order in which they are received, and to process complete applications within 10 business days of receipt.
CEAP funding is limited. Submitting an application for CEAP to your utility or USMP does not guarantee funding.
For more information or to determine if you are eligible for CEAP, contact your utility or USMP or visit oeb.ca/ceap.
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