Energy Financial Assistance
Financial assistance programs to help low-income consumers with their electricity or gas bills.
COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program – Residential (CEAP)
CEAP provides a one-time, on-bill credit to eligible residential electricity and natural gas customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. Residential customers may be eligible for up to $750 in support towards their electricity and natural gas bills and can apply for on-bill credits for both electricity and natural gas separately.
CEAP is being delivered by electricity distributors, gas distributors and unit sub-meter providers (USMPs).
You must apply for CEAP through your utility or USMP. Contact your utility or USMP directly as each may have a unique approach for application in-take.
- The customer has an account with an electricity distributor, a USMP or a natural gas distributor. Only the customer who is the account holder can submit an application for CEAP.
- The customer has overdue amounts owing from one or more electricity or gas bills since March 17, 2020.
Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP)
The OESP is an Ontario Energy Board (OEB) program that lowers electricity bills for low-income households. The OESP provides a monthly on-bill credit to eligible customers based on household income and household size. It is an application-based program.
Customers can apply online at Ontario Electricity Support. You need to complete the online application, print and sign the consent form and mail it to the address provided on the website. Alternatively, a paper version of the application can be downloaded from the OESP application website or can be mailed to applicants by the OESP Contact Centre upon request. Customers unable to apply online can contact an intake agency. Designated intake agencies can be searched by region on the OESP application website.
Applications take about 6 to 8 weeks to process. Credits don’t take effect until you submit all required information and your application is processed. The program is available to all low-income customers who have accounts with electricity distributors or unit sub-meter providers.
Contact the OESP Contact Centre at 1-855-831-8151.
Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
The Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA) is a year-round emergency financial assistance program developed by the Ontario Energy Board to assist low-income energy customers who may be experiencing difficulty paying current arrears. It is a grant program for short-term financial emergencies. It is not intended to provide regular or ongoing bill payment assistance.
The delivery of LEAP Emergency Financial Assistance relies heavily on cooperation between utilities and social service agencies. It is expected that as agencies screen and assess applicants in need, that they may refer customers not only for Emergency Financial Assistance, but also for customer service measures and/or conservation programs. However, if no referrals are provided, we recommend that you contact the utility and request what your options may be. You can get a one-time annual payment of up to $500 in emergency assistance for your electricity bill ($600 if your home is heated electrically) and $500 for your natural gas bill.
The first step is to contact your electricity or natural gas distributor or unit sub-metering provider. You will be referred to the social service agency serving the area in which you reside (this agency is called the “lead agency”). The lead agency, and not your utility provider, is responsible for assessing whether you are eligible for LEAP Emergency Financial Assistance. The lead agency will complete an initial eligibility screening with you over the phone. If you meet the initial criteria, you will then be requested to contact another local social service agency in your area to complete a small application process.
Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI)
Starting January 1, 2013, funding for five former homelessness-related programs, including the Emergency Energy Fund (EEF), was combined into one program – the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI). The purpose of the CHPI is to provide flexibility for municipalities to provide locally-based solutions that address local homelessness prevention needs.
Municipal Service Managers can choose the programs and services they offer in their communities with their consolidated funding and to establish eligibility criteria. This may include programs and services that assist households at risk of homelessness retain their housing, such as emergency assistance for the payment of utilities arrears. Contact your local Service Manager for information about the specific programs and services available in your community through the CHPI.
Northern Ontario Energy Credit
The Northern Ontario Energy Credit helps low- to moderate-income individuals 18 years of age and older and families living in Northern Ontario* with the higher energy costs they face living in the north. The credit is part of the Ontario Trillium Benefit. The amounts are adjusted for inflation each year.
You may qualify if at least one of the following conditions applies:
- rent or property tax for your principal residence was paid by or for you, or
- you lived on a reserve and home energy costs were paid by or for you, or
- you lived in a public long-term care home and an amount for accommodation was paid by or for you.
*Northern Ontario means the districts of Algoma, Cochrane, Kenora, Manitoulin, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Rainy River, Sudbury, Thunder Bay or Timiskaming.
You apply for the credit by completing the ON-BEN form, which is part of your tax return. You may qualify for this payment even if you do not owe income tax. The deadline for filing returns is April 30 of each year. If you file late, your credit payments may be delayed.
Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit
This credit helps low- to moderate-income individuals with the sales tax on energy and with property taxes. The credit is part of the Ontario Trillium Benefit. The amounts are adjusted for inflation each year.
You may qualify for the credit if you resided in Ontario and:
- rent or property tax for your principal residence was paid by or for you
- you lived in a student residence
- you lived in a long-term care home, or
- you lived on a reserve and home energy costs were paid by or for you for your principal residence on the reserve
You apply for the credit by completing the ON-BEN form, which is part of your personal income tax and benefit return (return). You may qualify for this payment even if you do not owe income tax. The deadline for filing returns is April 30 of each year. If you file late, your payments may be delayed.
For more information, please visit:
Special customer service rules for low-income customers
The OEB has special rules in place to ensure low-income customers are treated fairly. These rules include the waiving of security deposits, allowing longer payback periods under arrears payment plans, and offering a longer grace period to customers before being disconnected. For more information, contact your local utility provider or visit the OEB website at https://www.oeb.ca/rates-and-your-bill/help-low-income-consumers/low-income-energy-assistance-program#special
Energy Efficiency Programs
Conservation and efficiency programs are available to help customers reduce their energy consumption and therefore reduce their electricity/gas bills.
Energy Affordability Program (previously saveONenergy “Home Assistance Program“)
The Energy Affordability Program provides support to income-eligible electricity consumers by helping them to lower their monthly electricity costs and to increase their home comfort.
Depending on your situation, you may receive different energy-saving products and services. Some participants may qualify for a free home energy needs assessment conducted by a trained energy professional that will help identify energy-efficient upgrades available for their homes, such as replacement of inefficient appliances and professionally-installed insulation and draft-proofing. These upgrades may be installed during or after an in-home visit.
Other participants may qualify instead for free energy saving kits. These are customized to meet their energy needs and could include energy-saving LED lighting, timers, faucet aerators and/or a clothes drying line.
All expert advice and energy-saving home upgrades under this program are completely free of charge.
Depending on eligibility and the existing equipment within your home, you may receive:
- ENERGY STAR®-certified LED light bulbs
- High-efficiency showerheads (standard and handheld)*
- Faucet aerators (kitchen and bathroom)*
- Drying line for clothes
- Energy-efficient refrigerator
- Window air conditioner
- Smart power strip
- Additional attic or basement insulation**
- Weatherstripping around doors and windows**
- Smart thermostat(s)**
*for homes with electric hot water heating
**for homes heated by electricity
Participants in the Ontario Electricity Support Program, and LEAP Emergency Financial Assistance grant recipients are automatically eligible for EAP. To learn more, visit https://saveonenergy.ca/For-Your-Home/Energy-Affordability-Program or contact 1-855-591-0877 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enbridge Gas Inc. (Legacy Enbridge Gas Distribution and Legacy Union Gas): Low-Income Enbridge Home Winterproofing Program
The Enbridge Gas Home Winterproofing program provides income-eligible participants with a free home energy assessment and weatherization upgrades at no cost, to lower energy bills, improve the energy efficiency and to make the home more comfortable. The program is offered to income qualifying private single family households and to all social housing providers and residents in the Enbridge Gas franchise area. Qualified homes will also be offered free Smart Thermostats along with showerheads, kitchen and bathroom aerators. As well, the customer may be eligible for a carbon monoxide detector.
For more information, learn more about the eligibility criteria and to obtain an application form, visit www.enbridgegas.com/winterproofing or contact the Delivery Agent in your area:
Toronto Region and remaining territories not otherwise listed – GreenSaver- call 416-203-3106 (1-888-855-3106 toll-free) or email email@example.com
Niagara Region- Green Venture- call toll free 1-866-540-8866, ext 115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Windsor-Essex, Waterloo Region, Cambridge, Hamilton, Halton Region, Peel and Simcoe Region- The Home Inspectors Group, call 1-866-907-9206 or email email@example.com
Discretionary benefit to cover energy conservation measures
Limited funding is available for pre-approved, low-cost energy conservation measures, such as caulking, sealing or weather stripping around doors and windows, insulating hot water pipes and hot water tanks, and installing flow restrictors in showerhead pipes. The benefits are provided on a discretionary basis to OW and ODSP recipients, who can contact their caseworkers for more information.
Contact your caseworker.
Note: This summary is not an exhaustive list. It represents LIEN’s best efforts to identify available programs to assist low-income consumers and will be updated regularly.