Low-income Energy Assistance Program | Ontario Energy Board (2023)

Temporary changes to LEAP

Effective January 10, 2022-To support Ontarians through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the OEB is once again temporarily increasing the flexibility of LEAP:

  • LEAP applicants no longer need to be in threat of disconnection or have been disconnected, but they still need to be in arrears and at or below the income thresholds
  • The limitation on receiving LEAP only once per year is waived, but the total amount received by a household may not exceed the maximum grant amount for the year
  • In addition, the maximum value of grant amounts this year is increased to $1,000 ($1,200 for customers with electrically-heated homes).

If you’re behind on your electricity or natural gas bill and face having your service disconnected, you may qualify for emergency financial help through the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP). There are also customer service rules available that are specific to low-income households. You need to meet certain criteria to qualify for these programs, and must go through one of the intake agencies in Ontario listed below.

(Video) Low-income Energy Assistance Program / LEAP / Facing Disconnection/ Electricity / Ontario Government

View the list of agencies that offer LEAP

Do you qualify?

In order to qualify, your household income has to fall below a certain limit. The amount of income it takes to qualify depends on two factors:

  • How many people live in the house
  • Your combined household income

For example, a home with four people and an annual after-tax income of $37,000 would be eligible for a LEAP Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA) grant. This chart shows if you are eligible.

LEAP EFA income eligibility criteria

Household after tax income ($)Number of people living in home
1234567
Less than 28,000
28,001 - 39,000
39,001 - 48,000
48,001 - 52,000

What help is available?

Emergency Financial Assistance

  • NOTE: Temporary changes to LEAP were announced in January 2022, including increasing the maximum amounts to $1,000 ($1,200 for electrically heated homes) - see top of this page for a full list of changes.

Low-income customers can get up to $500 in emergency assistance for their electricity bills ($600 if your home is heated electrically) and $500 for their natural gas bills.

The assistance is only available if you are behind on your bill – or in arrearsand may face having your service disconnected. You cannot receive more money than you owe on your bill. Therefore, you may not receive the full amount of the grant.

Emergency financial assistance is for emergency situations only and is not meant to provide you with ongoing help to pay your bills.

Step 1: Collecting your paperwork

You will likely have to meet with a representative of the social agency for an interview.

(Video) Here to Help: Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)

View the list of social service agencies

You will be asked to provide:

  • Identification
  • Current electricity and gas bills
  • A disconnection notice, if you have received one
  • A copy of a rental contract, lease or mortgage documents
  • Proof of household income – cheque stub, employment letter, income tax return for adult members of household
  • A copy of your most recent bank statement

Step 2: Approving your status

The agency looking at your case will decide whether or not you qualify as low-income.As part of this process, the agency will contact your electricity or natural gas provider and ask them to pause any further disconnection or collection activity on your account until a decision is made. Your utility will also be notified if your application is denied.

NOTE: Emergency financial assistance is provided on a first-come first-served basis. Funds may be limited.Grantsare issued on your behalfand paid directly to your utility. You will not receive a cheque.

Rules to protect low-income customers

You can take advantage of (or qualify for) these rules if:

  • You’ve received LEAP emergency financial assistance within the past two years, or
  • You are receiving assistance under the OntarioElectricity Support Program (OESP).
  • If you qualify, you should let your local utility or unit sub-meterprovider know that you want to take advantage of the rules for low-income customers.

Electricity utilities and unit sub-meterproviders have to follow customer service rules specific to low-income customers; for example, waiving security deposits and allowing longer payment times under arrears payment plans.

Security deposits

You can ask to have your security deposit waived by your electricity utility or unit sub-meterprovider.

If you previously paid a security deposit you can ask to have it back (as long as any outstanding arrears have been paid).

When your security deposit is returned, it will either be:

  • Credited to your account with the utility or unit sub-meterprovider if it's less than your average monthly bill
  • Refunded by cheque if it's more than your average monthly bill
Billing errors

If the electricity utility made a mistake and overcharged you, they have to tell you. You will then have 10 days to request a cheque or they will apply the amount as a credit to your electricity bill.

If the electricity utility made a mistake andunderchargedyou, you will have to pay that money back. As an eligible low-income customer, you can pay the utility back over a longer period of time than other customers. Note: if you are a customer of a unit sub-meterprovider, then the low-income rules regarding billing errors do not apply.

You have 2 options:

You can pay it back over the same time frame as you were under-charged, up to a maximum of 2 years. For example, if you were undercharged for 3 months, you have 3 months to pay back your utility.

Or you can pay it back over:

  • 10 months if you owe an amountlessthantwice your average monthly bill
  • 20 monthsif you owe an amountmorethantwice your average monthly bill
Disconnection grace periodIf your LEAP intake agency notifies your electricity utility or unit sub-meter provider that you may be eligible for emergency financial assistance, they must suspend any disconnection process for a maximum of 21 days from the notification date.
Arrears payment agreement

Eligible low-income customers that enter into an arrears payment agreement are allowed more time to pay outstanding balances to their electricity utility or unit sub-meterprovider. Those time periods are:

  • at least 8 months if you owe an amountlessthantwice your average monthly bill
  • at least 12 monthsif you owemorethantwice your average monthly bill but less than five times your average monthly bill
  • at least 16 monthsif you owemorethan5 times your average monthly bill

Your utility or unit sub-meterprovider may also ask for a 10% down payment when you enter an arrears payment plan.

If you default on your arrears payment agreement or regular bill payment more than twice, your utility or unit sub-meterprovider can cancel it.

Reconnection fee

If your power has been disconnected by your utility, you will not have to pay the reconnection fee.

NOTE: Unit sub-meterproviders are not required to waive reconnection fees.

Rate-regulated natural gas utilities have to follow customer service rules specific to low-income customers; for example, waiving security deposits and allowing longer payment times under arrears payment plans.

Security deposits

You can ask to have your security deposit waived by your natural gas utility.

If you previously paid a security deposit you can ask to have it back (as long as any outstanding arrears have been paid).

When your security deposit is returned, it will either be:

  • Credited to your account with the utility if it's less than your average monthly bill
  • Refunded by cheque if it's more than your average monthly bill
Disconnection grace periodIf your LEAP intake agency notifies your natural gas utility that you may be eligible for emergency financial assistance, they must suspend any disconnection process for a maximum of 21 days from the notification date.
Arrears payment agreement

Eligible low-income customers that enter into an arrears payment agreement are allowed more time to pay outstanding balances to their natural gas utility. Those time periods are:

  • at least 8 months if you owe an amountlessthantwice your average monthly bill
  • at least 12 monthsif you owemorethantwice your average monthly bill but less than five times your average monthly bill
  • at least 16 monthsif you owemorethan5 times your average monthly bill

Your utility may also ask for a 10% down payment when you enter an arrears payment plan.

If you default on your arrears payment agreement or regular bill payment more than twice, your utility can cancel it.

Reconnection fee

If your natural gas has been disconnected by your utility, you will not have to pay the reconnection fee.

(Video) Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)


Learn more about rules that electricity and natural gas utilities have to follow in our Consumer Protection section.

(Video) Low Income Home Energy Assistance & Utility Assistance with Your Electric Bill

File a complaint

FAQs

Who is eligible for Oesp? ›

- For a 1 person household, the household income is $28,000 or less. - For a 2 person household, the household income is $39,000 or less. - For a 3 - 4 person household, the household income is $48,000 or less. - For a household of 5 or more people, the household income is $52,000 or less.

Is the Ontario electricity Support Program real? ›

If you are a customer of an electricity utility and in a lower-income home, you may qualify for a reduction on your electricity bill. Click here to learn more about it. The OESP will reduce the cost of your household electricity by applying a monthly credit directly to your bill.

How do I apply for energy bills support scheme? ›

Customers do not need to apply or register to receive the £400. It will be applied automatically to their energy account. If you receive a text or email asking you to 'complete a form' or 'input your bank details', then this is a scammer. Customers do not need to do either of these actions to receive the money.

What is the Ontario energy Support program? ›

We offer programs to help lower-income customers with their electricity bills. One of them is the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP). It provides monthly on-bill credits for lower-income customers to reduce their electricity bills.

What income is considered low-income in Ontario? ›

your individual adjusted net income for the year must be below $50,000 (previously $38,500 for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021) your adjusted family net income for the year must be below $82,500 (previously $68,500 for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021)

How do I get my energy rebate? ›

You do not need to apply for the discount, and there's no need to contact your energy supplier. The discount will be applied to your monthly household electricity bill for 6 months starting in October 2022.

Are there any energy rebates in Ontario for 2022? ›

May 5, 2022

The Ontario Electricity Rebate (“OER”) provides eligible customers with a 17% reduction on the amount of their bill before HST (O. Reg 363/16). To find out more please follow here. You can download the eligibility form here.

Is Ontario energy rebate still available? ›

Effective November 1, 2022, the OER is providing eligible consumers with an 11.7% rebate from the province on the subtotal of their electricity bill. For questions about eligibility, please contact your electricity distribution company or the Ontario Energy Board.

How much is the Ontario energy rebate? ›

The OER currently provides eligible customers with a rebate of 17.0% on their electricity bill.

Who is eligible for the 400 energy payment? ›

Every household in England, Scotland and Wales that is connected to the electricity grid will be eligible for the grant, which is expected to cover around 28 million homes.

How do I get a 400 pound energy grant? ›

The discount will be made automatically by energy suppliers in England, Scotland and Wales. There is no need to apply or to give an extra information. Customers have been warned to ignore scam emails and texts asking for personal information in order to receive the discount.

Will I receive help with energy bills? ›

The government will give every household £400 off their electricity bill. This is called the Energy Bills Support Scheme. You don't need to do anything to get the money and you won't have to pay it back. You'll get the £400 in 6 instalments starting from October 2022.

How do I claim my free electricity allowance? ›

Applicants must:
  1. Live legally and permanently in Ireland.
  2. Be the only person in their household who applies for and receives the allowance.
  3. Be the person whose name is registered on the electricity bill.
  4. Apply for a Public Services Card if you are requested to do so.

What is the LEAP program in Ontario? ›

If you're behind on your electricity or natural gas bill and face having your service disconnected, you may qualify for emergency financial help through the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP). There are also customer service rules available that are specific to low-income households.

How do I get financial help in Ontario? ›

To find support in your area, call one of the provincial crisis lines or contact Ontario 211 by phone at 2-1-1 or 1-877-330-3213 (toll-free), and TTY at 1-888-340-1001 .

What is the low income cut off in Canada 2022? ›

Comparing 12-month LICO over the years
Size of Family Unit20182022
one person$24,950$26,620
two persons$31,062$33,140
three persons$38,186$40,742
four persons$46,362$49,466
4 more rows
11 Nov 2021

Is the Canadian government giving extra money to seniors 2022? ›

A 10 per cent increase to the Old Age Security (OAS) pension for seniors 75 years and older, which began in July 2022, and will provide more than $800 in new support to full pensioners over the first year, and increase benefits for more than three million seniors.

What is the $300 lift credit in Ontario? ›

The low-income individuals and families tax credit (LIFT)

Under the proposed changes, the upper income limit would be raised to $50,000 per year. According to the budget, this would mean 1.7 million Ontarians would be eligible for an average credit of $300. At the maximum, lower-income earners can receive up to $875.

Will everyone get the 400 energy grant? ›

From October 2022 to March 2023, most homes in England, Scotland and Wales will get a £400 non-repayable discount on their electricity bills. This is known as the Energy Bills Support Scheme, and it will be delivered in six monthly instalments.

How do I claim the 400 energy rebate? ›

You do not have to do anything to get this money as the discount will be automatically applied. The £400 rebate, administered by energy suppliers, will be paid to consumers over six months in the following instalments: October - £66. November - £66.

How do I get gas and electric vouchers? ›

Where can I get free gas and electric vouchers? The fuel voucher scheme is run by the Fuel Bank Foundation and free fuel vouchers are distributed via its partner organisations, which include local authorities, food banks and Citizens Advice.

Is there a rebate for replacing windows in Ontario 2022? ›

A complete new window or door and frame replacement can be inserted into the existing frame of an old window or door, but replacements of only the glass sash or door without a frame are not eligible. Each rough opening is eligible for a grant of up to $250, up to a maximum of $5,000.

Who qualifies for energy saving grants? ›

If your total household income is less than £30,000 a year, including benefits, you could be eligible for a grant of up to £10,000 through the Green Homes Grant (GHG) Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme.

Who is eligible for energy rebate? ›

The Discretionary Scheme is designed to support vulnerable people and individuals on low incomes, who pay Council Tax for properties in Bands E to H, or who do not pay Council Tax. Payments will be made as one-off grants of £150 to households eligible under the criteria set out below.

How do you qualify for Enbridge rebate? ›

How the program works
  • Schedule a home energy assessment.
  • Get a custom report with recommended upgrades.
  • Complete at least two eligible upgrades. To qualify for the furnace rebate, you must complete three upgrades.
  • Schedule a follow-up energy assessment.
  • Receive your rebate cheque within 12 weeks.

What is the Ontario rebate program? ›

Your business can apply online to receive property tax and energy cost rebates through the Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program. The Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program will support eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity due to recently announced public health measures.

Is there a gas rebate in Ontario? ›

Here's how the payments will break down. On Friday, eligible individuals 19 or older in Ontario should receive $186.50. They'll receive another payment of $93.25 in October 2022, and again in January 2023 with a total annual rebate amount of $373.

How can I reduce my electric bill in Ontario? ›

Find out how you can reduce your electricity use – and costs – at home.
...
Cut phantom power
  1. unplugging electronics when you're not using them.
  2. plugging electronics into a power bar and switching it off.
  3. setting up a charging station with a smart power strip so you can limit charging time.
3 Mar 2017

What is the energy rebate? ›

The Government has announced a support package for helping households to pay their energy bills. It comes in response to rising energy prices which are making it hard for many single parents to pay their bills.

What age do you get help with fuel bills? ›

Every household with someone aged 60 or over is entitled to help towards their winter energy costs. Under the Government's winter fuel payments scheme, you can make a claim if you had reached the qualifying age on or before 27 September 2009.

What is the energy support scheme? ›

The Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) is a scheme which forms part of the government's cost of living assistance package for consumers from October 2022 to March 2023.

Can disabled get help with fuel bills? ›

Extra help from your supplier

Some suppliers offer extra support through a Priority Services Register. It means you can get help with things like reading your energy meter, moving your meter free of charge, and getting your bills sent to someone else, for example a carer.

When can I apply for Warm Home discount 2022 23? ›

The Warm Home Discount Scheme for winter 2021 to 2022 has closed. The scheme will reopen again in November 2022. This page will be updated soon. You could get £150 off your electricity bill for winter 2022 to 2023 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

What is disability energy Support? ›

We offer free energy and water advice to disabled people, helping them to manage their energy and water needs. The service is open to: any disabled person or households where 1 or more disabled people live, and.

Is the 400 energy grant for gas and electric? ›

The scheme – which was initially announced in February as a £200 payment – will see households in England, Scotland and Wales with a domestic electricity account get a non-repayable grant of £400 between October 2022 and March 2023.

Who will get the 650 payment? ›

You may be able to get £650 if you get: Universal Credit. income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

How can I get free money from the government? ›

6 Ways to Get Free Money From the Government
  1. Get help with utility bills. Need help paying your heating or phone bill? ...
  2. Find money for child care. Day care is a major expense for many families. ...
  3. Recover unclaimed money. ...
  4. Get down payment assistance. ...
  5. Find tax credits for health insurance. ...
  6. Apply for college grants.
23 Mar 2022

Who is eligible for cost of living payment? ›

You will be eligible for the second Cost of Living Payment of £324 if you were entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of income-based JSA , income-related ESA , Income Support or Pension Credit for any day in the period 26 August 2022 to 25 September 2022.

Who gets free electricity allowance? ›

The Household Benefits Package (HBP) helps with the cost of your electricity or gas bill and the TV licence. Only one person in a household can get the Package. You can get the Household Benefits Package if you are aged 70 or over. You do not need to be getting a State pension and the package is not means tested.

Who gets the 400 fuel allowance? ›

This payment will be made to all households that pay for their energy, regardless of their income. It is expected that around 29 million households in England, Scotland and Wales will benefit from the £400 energy grant. Equivalent support will be provided to households in Northern Ireland.

How much is the cash electricity allowance? ›

a) Electricity Allowance

The Electricity Allowance provides cash credit of €1.15 a day on the bill.

Who is eligible for Ontario electricity rebate? ›

Most residential consumers, farms and many small businesses in Ontario will receive a reduction on their bill through the Ontario Electricity Rebate. You may also receive further reductions on your bill if you're a customer of: Hydro One (low and medium density customers) Northern Ontario Wires.

Does Ontario Works help with Hydro? ›

The shelter allowance is meant to help cover: your rent or your mortgage payment. heat. utilities (hydro, water)

Can Enbridge cut off your gas in winter? ›

Your home cannot be disconnected during the winter

Rate-regulated natural gas utilities are banned from disconnecting residential customers for non-payment during the winter every year, from November 15 to April 30.

Can you still get Cerb 2022? ›

CRCB ended on May 7, 2022

If you are eligible, you can only apply for open CRCB periods, up to 60 days after each period has ended. The last period for the CRCB is period 84 (May 1 to 7, 2022) which will be open for application until July 6, 2022. Find out which periods are still open for application.

What's considered low income in Ontario? ›

you must owe Ontario personal income tax. your individual adjusted net income for the year must be below $50,000 (previously $38,500 for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021) your adjusted family net income for the year must be below $82,500 (previously $68,500 for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021)

Are seniors getting a one time payment in 2022? ›

When will seniors receive their $300 in 2022? Seniors received their $300 one-time payment on April 19, 2022. If you are a senior citizen already receiving OAS, you did not have to apply for this one-time $300 payment; it was paid out to you automatically via direct deposit.

How do I apply for energy rebate in Ontario? ›

To apply for the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit: download and fill out the ON-BEN application form(PDF) file your income tax to see if you are eligible to receive the credit.

How much is the Ontario electricity rebate? ›

The OER currently provides eligible customers with a rebate of 17.0% on their electricity bill.

Are there any energy rebates in Ontario for 2022? ›

May 5, 2022

The Ontario Electricity Rebate (“OER”) provides eligible customers with a 17% reduction on the amount of their bill before HST (O. Reg 363/16). To find out more please follow here. You can download the eligibility form here.

Who is eligible for energy rebate? ›

The Discretionary Scheme is designed to support vulnerable people and individuals on low incomes, who pay Council Tax for properties in Bands E to H, or who do not pay Council Tax. Payments will be made as one-off grants of £150 to households eligible under the criteria set out below.

Who qualifies for energy saving grants? ›

If your total household income is less than £30,000 a year, including benefits, you could be eligible for a grant of up to £10,000 through the Green Homes Grant (GHG) Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme.

Who qualifies for free electricity? ›

ESKOM ENCOURAGES INDIGENT HOUSEHOLDS TO CLAIM FREE BASIC ELECTRICITY. WEDNESDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER 2021: Free Basic Electricity (FBE) – a longstanding government initiative implemented by Eskom and municipalities – is available to indigent households and aims to improve their quality of life.

How do I claim my free electricity allowance? ›

Applicants must:
  1. Live legally and permanently in Ireland.
  2. Be the only person in their household who applies for and receives the allowance.
  3. Be the person whose name is registered on the electricity bill.
  4. Apply for a Public Services Card if you are requested to do so.

Is Ontario energy rebate still available? ›

Effective November 1, 2022, the OER is providing eligible consumers with an 11.7% rebate from the province on the subtotal of their electricity bill. For questions about eligibility, please contact your electricity distribution company or the Ontario Energy Board.

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