On June 1, 2020, the Government of Ontario confirmed that it is making $9 million available for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP), to support residential customers struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 emergency.

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. The on-bill CEAP credit covers half of the charges that are past due, up to a pre-set maximum amount.

The program is being delivered by electricity distributors, gas distributors and unit sub-meter providers (USMPs). Utilities and USMPs will begin accepting applications for CEAP on July 13, 2020.

CEAP Eligibility Criteria

• Customer is not in arrears prior to March 17, 2020
• Customer is unemployed and has received Employment Insurance or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) since March 17, 2020
• Customer has not received emergency financial assistance for their electricity bills under the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) in 2020, and has not received funding under the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) in 2020

Eligible electricity customers may qualify for a one-time CEAP credit for half of the electricity charges that are overdue on the date of their application for CEAP, up to a maximum of $115. They may receive $230 if they’re electrically heated or use a kidney dialysis, mechanical ventilator or oxygen concentrator at home.

Eligible natural gas customers may qualify for a one-time CEAP credit for half of the natural gas charges that are overdue on the date of their application for CEAP, up to a maximum of $80. Natural gas customers in Northern Ontario may qualify for a maximum of $160.

There is no deadline to apply for CEAP but utility companies will stop accepting applications and providing CEAP credits once their allocated share of CEAP funding has run out.

Customers must apply for CEAP through their utility or USMP, as each may have a unique approach for application in-take. Applications will be processed within 10 business days of receipt.

For more program details, visit the OEB website: https://www.oeb.ca/rates-and-your-bill/covid-19-energy-assistance-program-ceap