The Government of Ontario is providing $8 million to support small business and registered charity customers struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) is being delivered directly by electricity and natural gas distributors and unit sub-meter providers (USMPs), further to rules laid out by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB).
CEAP-SB provides a one time, on-bill credit for eligible small business and registered charity customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments.
CEAP-SB funding is limited. Distributors and USMPs are expected to process applications in the order in which they are received. Submitting an application for CEAP-SB to your distributor or USMP does not guarantee funding.
Small businesses and registered charities may be 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 50 kW 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, a non-residential rate class 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 distributor 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’s account was in good standing on March 17, 2020, and the customer was not enrolled in an arrears payment agreement for amounts owing prior to March 17, 2020. However, customers that enrolled in an arrears payment agreement for amounts that became owing after March 17, 2020 can be eligible for CEAP-SB.
- The customer failed to make complete payment for the electricity and/or natural gas charges (as applicable) on at least two bills issued since March 17, 2020, and has an overdue balance on the date of their application for CEAP-SB.
The customer’s small business or registered charity premises was required to close* to the public for regular operations for at least 15 days as a result of a government order or inability to comply with public health recommendations.
* “Close” means that the small business or registered charity was unable to maintain regular operations as a result of government order or health recommendations that required them to either fully close operations, limit access to their premises or limit the services provided or available to the public.
CEAP-SB Benefit Amounts
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.
Eligible small business and registered charity customers may qualify for up to $850 in support towards their electricity bill if they primarily use electricity for heating, or up to $425 otherwise.
They may also qualify for up to $425 in support towards their natural gas bill.
A small business or registered charity can receive only one CEAP-SB credit towards their electricity bill and one CEAP-SB credit towards their natural gas bill, even if they have multiple locations throughout the Province.
How to Apply
Beginning August 31, 2020, apply for CEAP-SB through your electricity or natural gas distributor or USMP. Each may have a unique approach for application in-take.
The CEAP-SB application form is available on distributor and USMP websites www.ffpc.ca and will be sent directly to any small business or registered charity customer that requests it. At a minimum, customers can apply for CEAP-SB by email or mail. Some distributors and USMPs may also have the capability to allow their customers to apply online, or by phone. Contact your distributor or USMP.
Distributors and USMPs are expected to process applications in the order in which they are received, and to process complete applications within 10 business days of receipt.
CEAP-SB funding is limited. Submitting an application for CEAP-SB does not guarantee funding.
For more information about CEAP-SB, contact us 807-274-9291.