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COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program – Small Business

Please note, on January 14, 2021, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) changed the eligibility requirements for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business, so that more customers can receive support.

The Government of Ontario has provided $8 million to support small business and registered charity customers who are struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 emergency.

The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) provides a one time*, on-bill credit to eligible small business and registered charity customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. Small business and registered charity customers may be eligible for up to $1,500 in support towards their electricity and natural gas bills, and can apply for on-bill credits for both electricity and natural gas separately.

CEAP-SB is being delivered by electricity distributors, natural gas distributors and unit sub-meter providers (USMPs).

*Customers who applied and received CEAP support in 2020 may apply again to be considered for the increased funding amount.

CEAP-SB ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Small business and registered charity electricity or natural gas customers are eligible for CEAP-SB if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • The customer has an active account with an electricity distributor, a USMP or a natural gas distributor.
  • The customer’s account falls within the following class:
    • For customers of an electricity distributor, the General Service less than 50kW rate class
    • For customers of a USMP, the relevant commercial class that uses less than 150,000 kWh of electricity annually
    • For customers of a natural gas distributor, is a non-residential customer that uses less than 50,000 cubic meters of gas annually
    • Customers can find information about their class on their bill, or they can contact their utility or USMP
  • The customer has a registered business number or charitable registration number for the small business or registered charity operating out of the premises.
  • The customer has overdue amounts owing from one or more electricity or gas bills since March 17, 2020.

Customers who previously applied but were denied will have their original applications reviewed by utilities and will be contacted directly if they meet the new eligibility criteria.

Customers who previously applied and received an on-bill credit will be notified by their utilities that the funding limits have been increased, and that they can file a new application for additional credits under the new funding limits, to be applied against any current overdue amounts. No customer can receive total CEAP-SB funding that exceeds the new funding limit of $1,500.

For more information, please visit the Ontario Energy Board website.

CEAP-SB BENEFIT AMOUNTS

Please note that submitting an application for CEAP-SB does not guarantee funding. CEAP-SB funding is limited, and applications will be processed in the order which they are received.

Eligible small business and registered charity customers may qualify for CEAP-SB funding up to a maximum credit of $1,500. If you previously received funding under this program and are re-applying based on overdue amounts still owing, you may qualify for additional funding up to a total combined maximum of $1,500.

If you are not eligible for CEAP-SB, your business may still be eligible for property tax and energy bill rebates. For more information, visit the Ontario Energy Board website.

APPLICATION FORM

Please fill out the following form and email it to customerservice@essexpowerlines.ca with “CEAP-SB APPLICATION” as the subject line, or print and mail it to ESSEX POWERLINES

C/O Customer Service Department
Essex Powerlines Corporation
2730 Highway #3
Oldcastle, Ontario
N0R 1L0

 CEAP-SB Application Form

Frequently Asked Questions

The Ontario Energy Board has broadened the criteria for eligibility to include more customers, and the amount of funding available to individual customers has increased.

Any small business or charity that falls under the above mentioned criteria, whose account shows overdue amounts owing from one or more previous bills since March 17, 2020 may be qualified for CEAP-SB. 

Not at the moment. Funding for the program is limited, however. Utilities and USMPs are expected to process applications in the order in which they are received. CEAP-SB funding is not guaranteed even after a complete application has been submitted. 

The government made $8 million available for CEAP-SB to support small business and registered charity energy customers. Each utility and USMP has been allocated a share of that amount, based on their reporting on customer numbers. Your utility or USMP will stop accepting applications and providing CEAP-SB credits once their allocated share of CEAP-SB funding has run out. 

If your utility or USMP has CEAP funds remaining, the credit will be applied to the next available bill issued to you after your CEAP application has been assessed as complete by your utility or USMP.

No. Customers who previously applied but were denied will have their original applications reviewed by utilities and will be contacted directly by February 15, 2021, if they are determined to meet the new eligibility criteria. 

Yes, but customers can only receive a CEAP-SB credit once for electricity and once for natural gas. Customers who applied and received CEAP support in 2020 may apply again to be considered for the increased funding amount. 

A small business or registered charitable organization that has multiple locations can receive a CEAP-SB credit for each eligible location towards their electricity or natural gas bills but will need to apply for each location separately.

The pre-set maximum amount of support for eligible customers will assist in achieving the government’s objective of making CEAP-SB available to help the most affected financially by the COVID-19 emergency.