Important Changes for Electricity Consumers Starting May 1

TORONTO, May 1, 2017 /CNW/ - Electricity consumers across the province should be aware of important changes that start on May 1, including increased support for lower income bill payers and lower time-of-use prices for all consumers.

Staying Connected – Know Your Rights

The OEB's ban on winter disconnections will be lifted on May 1, 2017. There are a number of rules in place to protect consumers and help them stay connected. The OEB requires utilities to follow these rules.  For example, customers must receive 10 days' notice before electricity can be cut off.  Customers must also be provided with payment options.  The OEB also expects utilities to reconnect customers within two business days of receiving a payment or agreeing to a payment arrangement.  Low-income customers may be eligible for special rules including the right to request equalized billing and a longer payment plan. They may also be eligible for help paying their bill through programs such as the Ontario Energy Support Program (OESP) www.OntarioElectricitySupport.ca or the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) www.oeb.ca/billhelp.

"We expect utilities to make every effort to help consumers, at risk of disconnection, stay connected," says Brian Hewson, Vice President, Consumer Protection and Industry Performance.

More information about OEB's customer service rules is available on the website:  www.oeb.ca/rules.

More help for more households – OESP to benefit more consumers, increase credits by 50 per cent

Support for lower-income electricity consumers will increase by 50 per cent and more consumers will be eligible for assistance under changes to the OESP, which take effect May 1, 2017. The OESP increase translates to an additional $180 to $300 per year for households in monthly, on-bill OESP credits, depending on their size and annual income.

Time-of-Use Pricing Drops on May 1

Households and small businesses that buy their electricity from their local utility will see their electricity prices go down starting May 1. This will benefit more than 90 per cent of the electricity customers in Ontario.

TOU Price

Periods

Existing

TOU Prices

May 1, 2017

TOU Prices

Off-Peak

8.7¢/kWh

7.7 ¢/kWh

Mid-Peak

13.2 ¢/kWh

11.3 ¢/kWh

On-Peak

18.0 ¢/kWh

15.7 ¢/kWh

About the Ontario Energy Board

The Ontario Energy Board is an independent and impartial public agency. We make decisions that serve the public interest. Our goal is to promote a sustainable and efficient energy sector that provides consumers with reliable energy services at a reasonable cost.

Additional Resources 

 

BACKGROUNDER

May 1, 2017

Support for Ontario Residential Electricity Consumers
Helping Consumers Stay Connected

Check The Service Rules – The OEB has rules in place to protect you as a residential consumer and ensure all electricity customers across the province are treated fairly when it comes to customer service. Utilities have to follow special rules that give qualifying low-income households even more protection, such as waiving security deposits and allowing longer payment times under arrears payment plans. Visit our website to learn more: www.oeb.ca/billhelp.

Get Help Paying Your Bill – If you are behind on your electricity bills, your utility has to give you an opportunity to go on an arrears payment plan. The payment plan gives you extra time to pay your overdue bills.  Contact your utility to learn more. 

Apply For Additional Support – The OEB has support programs in place to help you in an emergency, or on an ongoing basis.

Low-income Energy Assistance program (LEAP)This is an emergency, one time, financial assistance program for qualifying low-income customers that are behind on their electricity bills and facing disconnection. Those who qualify may receive up to $500 for each of their natural gas and electricity bills; up to $600 if the home is electrically heated. Visit www.oeb.ca/billhelp to find out more.

Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP)The OESP provides a monthly on-bill credit to reduce the electricity bill for qualifying low-income customers. The OEB recently announced OESP credits will be increased by 50 per cent and eligibility thresholds for household income and size also broadened to provide more support for qualifying low-income consumers. The increase translates to an additional $180 to $300 per year for qualifying households, depending on their size and annual income. Consumers who live in homes which are electrically heated, or who rely on certain medical devices requiring a lot of power, qualify for a higher level of OESP assistance. Indigenous consumers also qualify for a higher level of assistance. More information is available at OntarioElectricitySupport.ca.

Improve Your Home's Energy Efficiency – Ontarians can access a variety of coupons and programs through the Save On Energy programs specifically designed to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Your utility can provide more details about Save On Energy programs in your area. 

Call the OEB

– For more information, give us a call at 1-877-632-2727 (toll-free) or visit our website at www.oeb.ca

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SOURCE Ontario Energy Board

For further information: Media Inquiries: Phone: 416-544-5171, Email: oebmedia@oeb.ca

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