MPP Thompson announces energy assistance program for small business

Published 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

 
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, while helping those struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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.

Eligibility Criteria

· A registered business number or charitable registration number is required for the small business or registered charity operating out of the premises.

· 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.
Applications are now available from your electricity provider.

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.


30

Media contact: Nicko Vavassis,
Nicko.Vavassis@ontario.ca