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Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP)

Backgrounder

Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP)

Ministry of Energy

The proposed Ontario Electricity Support Program would provide assistance directly to eligible low-income electricity consumers following the conclusion of the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit on December 31, 2015.

Eligibility

Eligibility for the new program is based on two criteria:

  • Household income
  • Household size

Based on income level and household size, those qualified would receive a predetermined credit on their electricity bills, ranging from $20 to $50 per month. For example, a family of four with an annual income of less than $28,000, would be eligible for a $38 monthly credit -- a total of about $455 per year. 

Proposed Levels of Support
Stepped sliding scale - benefit level Household size
1 person 2 persons 3 persons 4 persons 5 persons 6 persons 7+ persons
Income bracket < $28,000 $20 $30 $34 $38 $42 $46 $50
$28,001 - $39,000 - - $30 $34 $38 $42 $46
$39,001 - $48,000 - - - - $30 $34 $38
$48,001 - $52,000 - - - - - - $30

The Need

For many low-income Ontarians, paying their monthly electricity bill can be a major and ongoing challenge.  In fact, in comparison to other electricity consumers in the province, low-income Ontarians spend a proportionately higher percentage of their income on electricity each month.  For example, the electricity bill for a typical household consuming 800 kilowatt hours of electricity per month represents on average ten per cent of the total income of a household with an annual income of $20,000, while amounting to only two per cent or less on average of the total income of a household with an annual income of $100,000 or more in 2016.

Current Energy Assistance and Energy Conservation Programs:

Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP):

  • Helps electricity and natural gas customers with limited financial resources. 
  • LEAP has provided nearly $12.5 million in emergency financial assistance to more than 35,000 low-income electricity and natural gas customers throughout Ontario (Source: Ontario Energy Board’s 2013/14 Annual Report). 
  • Low-income customers can receive up to $500 in emergency assistance for their electricity bills ($600 if the home is heated electrically) and $500 for gas bills.

saveONenergy Home Assistance Program:

  • Assists low-income participants with upgrading the electrical efficiency of their households at no cost to participants.
  • This program has been in place since 2011 and reached almost 27,000 homes in 2013. 
  • Union and Enbridge gas also provide audits and energy efficiency upgrades at no cost to income eligible natural gas customers. 

Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC)

  • Helps low- to moderate-income individuals and families with the sales tax they pay on energy and with property taxes.
  • The OEPTC is paid monthly as part of the Ontario Trillium Benefit delivered through the income tax system.

Northern Ontario Energy Credit (NOEC)

  • A refundable tax credit for low- to middle-income individuals and families living in northern Ontario, effective for 2010 and subsequent years.
  • The NOEC is paid monthly as part of the Ontario Trillium Benefit and is delivered through the income tax system.

Ontario Clean Energy Benefit (OCEB)

  • Helps Ontario families, farms and small businesses through the transition to a cleaner, modern electricity system by providing a 10 per cent rebate on applicable electricity charges and taxes (limited to the first 3,000 kilowatt hours consumed each month). 
  • This program is helping over four million residential consumers and over 400,000 small businesses and farms until December 31, 2015.

LEARN MORE

For more information, please visit the Ontario Energy Board`s website at www.ontarioenergyboard.ca/oesp.

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