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COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program – Small Business

The Government of Ontario is providing $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.

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.

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:

  • As of the date you are applying, your small business or registered charity has an active account with an electricity distributor or a unit sub-meter provider. You will be required to provide your registered business number or registered charity number.
  • Your small business or registered charity is classified as a general service less than 50 kilowatt (kW) customer if the account is with an electricity distributor, or
  • Your small business or registered charity is using less than 150,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually if the account is with a unit sub-meter provider.
  • As of the date you are applying, your small business or registered charity has overdue amounts owing from one or more previous electricity bill(s) incurred since March 17, 2020, the date of the initial Provincial Declaration of Emergency.

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. 

No, but funding for the program is limited, and 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 is making $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. 

Utilities and USMPs are expected to process complete CEAP-SB applications within 10 business days of receipt. 

Provided that you are eligible and your utility of USMP has CEAP-SB funds remaining when they assess your CEAP-SB application as complete, the credit will be applied to the next available bill issued to you after that.

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