There’s help for low-income households
If you are a customer of an electricity utility and in a low-income home, you may qualify for a reduction on your electricity bill through the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP).
You could receive a credit on your electricity bill.
Beginning in 2016, the OESP will reduce the cost of your household electricity by applying a monthly credit directly to your bill.
The amount of the credit you receive depends on two factors:
- How many people live in your home and
- Your combined household income.
For example, a home with four occupants and an annual income of $37,000 will receive a credit of $34 on each bill.
OESP Credit Amounts
|Level of Household Income ($)||Number of people living in home|
|28,000 or less||$30||$30||$34||$38||$42||$50||$50|
If your home is electrically heated, or you rely on medical devices requiring a lot of electricity, OESP offers a higher level of assistance. First Nations and Métis will also qualify for a higher level of assistance.
Ready to apply?
|Gather up the following:
|Complete the online application (you will see it on the home page). Print and sign the consent form and mail it to the address provided on our website.You will be notified of eligibility after your application and signed consent form have been reviewed.If eligible, the credit will appear directly on your electricity bill in about six to eight weeks from the date of approval. You will receive OESP for two years before having to reapply.Please note: If you have not filed an income tax return recently, or if your situation has changed since you last filed, you can apply for OESP through a designated agency listed on the website. You will need to bring all of the documents listed in Step 1, plus proof of your household income.|
1-855-831-8151 toll free within Ontario.
1-800-855-1155 (TTY to TTY)
Or contact your local electricity utility.
What programs exist for people who don’t pay their electricity bills directly?
There are a number of other Ontario programs available for low-income individuals who do not pay for their electricity directly which provide assistance with energy and housing-related costs, including:
Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (OEPTC): The Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit helps low- to moderate-income individuals and families with the sales tax they pay on energy and with property taxes. The OEPTC is paid monthly as part of the Ontario Trillium Benefit delivered through the income tax system.
Northern Ontario Energy Credit (NOEC): The Northern Ontario Energy Credit is a refundable tax credit for low- to middle-income individuals and families living in northern Ontario, effective for 2010 and subsequent years. The NOEC is paid monthly as part of the Ontario Trillium Benefit and is delivered through the income tax system.
Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI): The Community Homessness Prevention Initiative is administered by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The program aims to address local priorities related to housing needs, which includes assistance with paying energy bills.
Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program: Financial assistance for recipients of Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) includes consideration of housing and utility costs, including any emergencies that may arise.
Rent Increase Guidelines: Each year, the Ontario government announces the province’s Rent Increase Guideline for the following year, which sets the maximum amount that most landlords can increase a tenant’s rent during the year without making an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board. The annual Rent Increase Guideline is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI). The rate of allowable rent increases for 2015 will be 1.6 per cent. The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 sets out that the rent increase guideline cannot exceed 2.5 per cent, even if the CPI calculation is higher.
Conservation programs: Local distribution companies offer the saveONenergy suite of residential electricity conservation programs, including the Home Assistance Program for low-income customers. Contact your Local Distribution Company for more information.