As discussed in a previous post, the Ontario Energy Board has been mandated to introduce an Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) to provide financial assistance to low-income electricity consumers. The OESP will be funded by electricity ratepayers, though a per-kilowatt hour charge on electricity bills. The OESP is to be implemented as of January 1, 2016.

On September 14, 2015, the OEB issued a Notice of Proposal to change certain regulatory codes to accommodate the implementation of the OESP. Comments are due on the Notice of Proposal by September 25, 2015. The OEB’s Notice of Proposal makes clear that OESP funding will be available to customers of electricity distributors and customers of unit sub-meterers. The OESP does not apply to natural gas distributors.

The OEB’s Notice, along with other postings on the OEB website, including this page, set out the eligibility for the OESP. Eligibility will be based on household income and the number of people in the household. While the amounts of monthly OESP credits have not been confirmed, the chart below sets out the expected level of OESP credit amounts for which a low-income household will be eligible.

Click here to view table.

The OEB indicates that low-income consumers will be able to apply online or through a local social service agency. The applications will take 6 to 8 weeks to process. The OESP enrolment website and applications will be ready in mid-October 2015, for credits to begin January 1, 2016.