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Ontario Supports Those Struggling with Electricity Bills during COVID-19

Ontario Supports Those Struggling with Electricity Bills during COVID-19


New Initiatives Help Keep Rates Stable and Affordable.


The Ontario government announced that it will continue to support provincial electricity consumers by providing stability and greater customer choice, while helping those struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.


Details of the new programs were provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Bill Walker, Associate Minister of Energy.


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 COVID‑19 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.

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.


Starting June 1, 2020, the new COVID-19 Recovery Rate comes into effect for electricity customers who pay TOU rates. This fixed rate will apply to TOU customer bills 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


The COVID-19 Recovery Rate will be in place until October 31, 2020, followed by a new customer choice initiative. Starting November 1, 2020, customers will be able to choose a plan that best suits their household and lifestyle with the option of either TOU electricity rates or tiered pricing, which will provide a set rate for electricity up to a certain level of consumption.


The government will continue to subsidize electricity bills by 31.8 percent 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.


"With the financial hardships faced by so many in our province as a result of COVID-19, those struggling to pay their electricity bills need support," said Minister Walker. "This program, in partnership with the Ontario Energy Board and local distribution companies, will support electricity consumers by keeping rates stable and affordable."


(Credit to Ontario.ca)

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