OESP to benefit more consumers, increase credits by 50%

TORONTO, April 26, 2017 /CNW/ - Support for lower-income electricity consumers will increase by 50 per cent and more consumers will be eligible for assistance under changes to the Ontario Electricity Support Program (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. For example:

  • A one-person household earning $28,000 or less could now receive $45 per month.
  • A four-person household earning under $48,000 (up from $39,000) could now qualify for $40 per month.
  • Households with seven people earning a total of $39,000 or less could receive $75 per month.

"The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) designed and implemented the OESP to help protect vulnerable consumers and provide support for those who need it most," says Rosemarie Leclair, OEB Chair and CEO. "We encourage customers who want to find out more to contact us, their utility or an OESP intake agency to see if they qualify for assistance."

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. For example, a three-member household earning between $39,001 and $48,000 could now qualify for $52 per month, under broadened OESP eligibility thresholds.

Consumers already in the program will automatically receive a credit adjustment. Others can check to see if they are eligible for assistance under the enhanced program at OntarioElectricitySupport.ca

Since it was launched by the OEB on Jan. 1, 2016, the OESP program has provided monthly on-bill credits to more than 153,000 lower-income households.

For more information, give us a call at 1-855-831-8151 (toll-free) or visit the OESP website at OntarioElectricitySupport.ca

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.

Contact Us

For more information, please refer to the attached backgrounder, visit the OEB website at www.oeb.ca or contact us directly.

Changes to the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) 

The Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) is changing to offer more support for lower-income electricity consumers.

Eligible consumers will see monthly, on-bill OESP credits increased by 50 per cent. Eligibility thresholds for household income and size will also be broadened. Utilities will be implementing enhanced credits beginning May 1, 2017.

Consumers can find out more and check to see if they are eligible for assistance under the expanded program at OntarioElectricitysSupport.ca. Information is also available on the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) website at www.oeb.ca.

New OESP Credit Amounts and Eligibility Thresholds

The following table reflects changes to the program that will be in effect as of May 1, 2017 for eligible consumers. 

Base

1

2

3

4

5

6

7+

<28,000

$45

$45

$51

$57

$63

$75

$75

28,001 - 39,000


 $40*

$45

$51

$57

$63

$75

39,001 - 48,000



 $35*

 $40*

$45

$51

$57

48,001 - 52,000





 $35*

 $40*

$45

If your home is electrically heated, or you rely on certain medical devices requiring a lot of power, the OESP offers a higher level of assistance. Low-income Indigenous Ontarians also qualify for a higher level of assistance. These consumers are considered for enhanced eligibility.

The following table reflects changes to the program that will be in effect as of May 1, 2017 for eligible enhanced consumers.

Enhanced

1

2

3

4

5

6

7+

<28,000

$68

$68

$75

$83

$90

$113

$113

28,001 - 39,000


 $60*

$68

$75

$83

$90

$113

39,001 - 48,000



 $52*

 $60*

$68

$75

$83

48,001 - 52,000





 $52*

 $60*

$68

*Green cells denote the new eligibility thresholds for household income and size.

How To Apply

Step 1: Gather information

  • Your electricity bill
  • Names and birthdates of all the residents in your home as registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
  • Social Insurance Numbers (SINs), Individual Tax Numbers or temporary taxation numbers for all household members over the age of 18.

Step 2: Complete the application

There are three ways to apply:

  • Online – Apply now at OntarioElectricitySupport.ca and mail the consent form to the address on the OESP website (the CRA needs your consent to verify your income). This is the fastest way to apply
  • On Paper – Complete the application and sign the consent forms (the CRA needs your consent to verify your income). Mail them back to the address on the OESP website. You can download the documents from OntarioElectricitySupport.ca
  • Through an Intake Agency – Contact a designated intake agency near you if you would like help with your application. There is no cost for this service. Find an agency near you. 
  • 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 an intake agency. You'll need to bring all of the documents listed in step 1 above, plus proof of your household income.

What happens after you apply?

We'll let you know if you qualify for OESP about four to six weeks after your completed application and signed consent forms have been received. If you qualify, the credit will appear directly on your electricity bill in about 6 to 8 weeks after you have been approved. You will receive OESP credits on your bill for 2 years before having to reapply.

About the OESP

The Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) was developed by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to help low-income consumers across Ontario with their electricity bills through monthly, on-bill credits. Since it was launched by the OEB on Jan. 1, 2016, the OESP program has provided assistance to more than 153,000 low-income households. For more information, visit OntarioElectricitysSupport.ca.

Contact the OEB

For more information, visit the OEB website at www.oeb.ca or contact us directly.

SOURCE Ontario Energy Board

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

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