Utilities Kingston has announced changes to the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program eligibility criteria for residents, small businesses and charitable organizations. They say the changes could mean that more natural gas and electricity users may be eligible for assistance.
The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) and COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) are funded by the Government of Ontario and delivered by natural gas and electricity utilities across Ontario. The programs provide a one-time, on-bill credit to eligible residential, small business and charitable organization energy customers who have experienced hardships as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We support these changes and are hopeful that more people will be able access this funding. We encourage residents, small businesses and charitable organizations who are struggling to pay their bills due to the pandemic to apply to these COVID-19 Energy Assistance Programs,” said Kevin McCauley, Chief Customer and Technology Officer, Utilities Kingston. “The programs are intended to help you catch up on energy bills and resume regular payments. We really want to get these funds into the hands of our customers who need them most.”
Eligibility Changes and Program Information
Here are the eligibility changes that were implemented by the Ontario Energy Board to make the program more accessible. For complete eligibility criteria, view the below web page.
- For both CEAP and CEAP-SB, customers that made at least a partial payment on amounts owing from bills prior to March 17, 2020 may now be eligible for CEAP. This includes accounts subject to an arrears payment agreement.
- For CEAP residential, the account holder (or the account holder’s spouse or common-law partner, residing in the same residence) will no longer need to be unemployed on the date they file their CEAP application form.
More information about benefit amounts and the complete eligibility criteria, as well as frequently asked questions, can be found on the Ontario Energy Board website.
Customers who have already applied to one of these programs, and did not previously qualify, don’t need to do anything. Utilities Kingston will reassess their application, using the amended CEAP/CEAP-SB eligibility requirements, and apply any available credit to the account.
There is no application deadline, however funding for the program is limited. Utilities Kingston says complete applications for eligible customers will be processed in the order received, and they will apply any available credit to the next bill.
Hydro One electricity customers can learn more and apply at HydroOne.com.
Enbridge gas customers can learn more and apply at EnbridgeGas.com.
Customers are reminded: if you are concerned about paying your bill, please contact Utilities Kingston to extend payment arrangements. Options exist to make flexible payment arrangements and connect with financial assistance programs, to avoid disrupting utility services. Call 613-546-1181, ext. 2278, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.