MPP Thompson announces energy assistance program for small businessPublished on September 02, 2020
[HURON-BRUCE] — Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson has announced that the Ontario government will continue to support provincial electricity consumers by providing stability and greater customer choice...
For immediate release:
NEWS September 2, 2020
The 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.
Under this program, small business and registered charities may be eligible for up to $850 in support towards their electricity bill if they primarily use electricity for heating, or up to $425 otherwise. Small business and registered charities may also be eligible for up to $425 in support towards their natural gas bill.
· The account was in good standing on March 17th, and you were not enrolled in an arrears payment agreement for amounts owing prior to March 17, 2020.
· The customer failed to make complete payment for the electricity and/or natural 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.
· The small business or charity was required to close to the public for regular operations for at least 15 days as a result of a government order or inability to comply with public health recommendations.
The Ontario government is also offering a $9 million 'COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program' to support residential consumers with one-time payments to help pay down bill debt incurred during COVID‑19.
“We realize that although Ontarians are doing a great job fighting this pandemic, the impact of Covid-19 is far from over, so we are continuing to support people and businesses alike with the extension of the recovery rate,” Thompson said.
The COVID-19 Recovery Rate, which came into effect June 1, 2020 for electricity customers who pay Time Of Use (TOU) rates will be in place until Oct. 31, 2020, followed by a new customer choice initiative. Starting Nov. 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.
"We recognize that businesses and families are living with a great deal of uncertainty, and they need to know what they can expect when they open their electricity bills every month," said Energy Minister Minister Rickford. "The new COVID-19 Recovery Rate will provide stability for Ontario electricity consumers, while we work to re-open our province and restart our economy."
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.