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As of July 13, 2020, residential customers could begin applying for the Government of Ontario's COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP).

Beginning August 31, 2020, registered small businesses and charities can apply for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB).

These programs support customers struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 emergency.

CEAP for residential customers

Residential customers can receive a one time, on-bill credit on their electricity and natural gas bills to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. Customers can receive a CEAP credit once for electricity and once for gas.

Residential CEAP credit amounts

Electricity customers

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.

The CEAP credit can be higher for eligible electricity customers if:

  • their home is mainly heated by electricity; or
  • they use one of three at-home energy-intensive medical devices (kidney dialysis, mechanical ventilator or oxygen concentrator).

In that case, they may qualify for a one-time CEAP credit for half of the electricity charges that are overdue on the date of their application, up to a maximum of $230. The CEAP application form requires that customers confirm whether they meet either of these two conditions.

Natural gas customers

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, up to a maximum of $80 in our service territory. 

Eligibility

Residential electricity and natural gas customers may be eligible for CEAP funding if they meet the following criteria:

  1. The customer has an account with EPCOR.  Only the customer who is the account holder can submit an application for CEAP.
  2. If the customer did have overdue amounts prior to March 17, 2020, in respect to electricity or natural gas charges, the customer made at least partial payments on these overdue amounts.
  3. The customer failed to make complete payment for the electricity/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 for CEAP.
  4. The customer or the customer's spouse / common-law partner (who must share the same address with the customer) qualified for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or received Employment Insurance (EI) at any point after March 17, 2020.
  5. In the case of an electricity customer, the 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 in 2020.
  6. In the case of a natural gas customer, the customer has not received emergency financial assistance for their natural gas bills under LEAP in 2020.

CEAP-SB for small businesses and charities

The Government of Ontario has created the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program to help small businesses and registered charities who have fallen behind on their energy bills. Customers can apply for a credit on their electricity bill in Collingwood or natural gas bill in Aylmer.

CEAP-SB credit amounts

  • Electricity customers may receive up to $850 if they primarily use electricity for heating or up to $425 otherwise.
  • Natural gas customers may receive up to $425 in support.

The amount of the credit cannot exceed the amount owing on account of electricity or natural gas charges on the date of the customer's application for CEAP-SB.

The CEAP-SB credit must be applied on the next available bill issued to the customer after the customer's Application Form has been assessed as complete by EPCOR.

CEAP-SB funding will be available only once per account holder, and a small business or registered charity can only receive CEAP-SB funding once towards its electricity bill and once towards its natural gas bill, even if it has multiple locations.

Eligibility

Registered small businesses and charities are eligible to apply for the program if they meet the following criteria:

  1. As of the date you are applying, you have an active account with EPCOR.
  2. Is classified as a general service less than 50 kilowatt (kW) electricity customer in Collingwood or uses less than 50,000 cubic metres (m3) of natural gas annually in Aylmer.
  3. Made at least partial payments on overdue amounts that occurred prior to March 17, 2020 in respect to electricity or natural gas charges.
  4. Has fallen behind by at least two billing cycles, but whose accounts were in good standing when the provincial emergency was declared on March 17,2020; and
  5. Was required to close for at least fifteen business days as a result of a government order or an inability to adapt their business to comply with public health recommendations.
  6. You have a registered business number or charitable registration for the premise.

If you are not eligible for CEAP-SB, your place of residence may still be eligible for residential CEAP or lower income energy support programs. Please contact your EPCOR for information on entering into a payment agreement. You may also visit the Ontario Energy Board's website for more information.

 

How to apply

EPCOR will process CEAP and CEAP-SB applications in the order in which they are received and will process applications within 10 business days of receipt. Note: This provision is not in effect for the period between Oct.1-20, 2020.

Complete the applicable form below and submit by mail or email.

Deadline to apply

There is no deadline to apply for either residential or the small business assistance program. However, funding for the program is limited. EPCOR has been allocated a certain amount from the Government of Ontario based on our customer base and is expected to process applications in the order in which they are received. Submitting an application for CEAP does not guarantee funding.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why doesn’t the CEAP credit amount cover the full amount of a customer’s arrears?

​The on-bill CEAP credit covers half of the charges that are overdue on the date of the customer's application for CEAP, up to a pre-set maximum amount. Setting the level of support for individual customers in this way assists in achieving the government's objective of making CEAP available to help the most people affected financially by the COVID-19 emergency. For the same reason, CEAP funding is available only once per customer for each of their electricity and natural gas bills.

​When will a customer see the credit on their bill?

Provided that we have CEAP funds remaining, the credit will be applied to the next available bill issued to you after your CEAP application been assessed as complete by EPCOR.

​​Can a customer receive a CEAP credit if they are on the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) or have received emergency financial assistance under the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) this year?

No. Low-income customers that have received assistance under either of these programs in 2020 are not eligible for CEAP. 

The Ontario Government's aim for CEAP is to support residential energy customers that are temporarily behind on their bills as a result of COVID-19. 

Eligible low-income customers continue to have access to help under OESP and LEAP.