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Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP)

Archived Backgrounder

Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP)

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 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.


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

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