Winter is here, and it can be challenging to keep up with the price of electricity for the cold months. Luckily, there is a new subsidy for low income Canadians to help with their electricity bills.
The Ontario Electricity Support Program is an on-bill credit that is based on the number of people living in your house and the combined household income after tax. Through this subsidy you can get $30 to $50 off of your monthly bill ($45-$75 if your home is electrically heated, or you rely on an approved medical device that requires a lot of electricity).
The subsidy is funded by current ratepayers at a very small charge ($0.0011 per kilowatt hour). This means that your rates will not increase at all by applying for this program. It’s no different than applying for credits on your taxes; you should absolutely apply if you qualify. Below is a table showing the amount of your potential credit, in relation to your income and the number of people living in your home.
OESP Credit Amounts
|Level of Household Income ($)||Number of people living in home|
|28,000 or less||$30||$30||$34||$38||$42||$50||$50|
Your credit will apply as soon as you’re approved. This generally will take a month and a half to two months, so the sooner you apply, the sooner you will save money on your bill. Once you are approved, the credit will apply for 2 years.
You can apply online at: https://ontarioelectricitysupport.ca/
If you’re unable to apply online, or you have not filed your income taxes in the last two years, you can still apply through an intake agency (Map of all intake agencies in Ontario here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zvXp4ZljmoHU.kMlwTlkpvXf4).
Forms for the program can be found here: https://ontarioelectricitysupport.ca/Forms
To apply you will need:
- Your electricity bill account number, service address, and account holder details
- The birthdates and names of all residents in your home
- Social Insurance Numbers or Temporary Tax Numbers for tax-filing household members (these will only be used to validate the income of applicants)
If you have any further questions about the program, you can contact the OESP directly at:
Phone: (855) 831-8151
Their hours are Monday to Friday, from 8:00am to 9:00pm ET