COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business and Registered Charity Customers


 

UPDATE: On January 14, 2021, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) changed the eligibility requirements for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB), so that more customers can receive support.

In the summer of 2020, the Government of Ontario made $8 million available to support small business and registered charity customers who have overdue amounts on their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. In March 2021, the government made an additional $23 million available to support both residential and small business customers.

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 on-bill credits up to $1,500.00 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 (ENWIN) or USMP does not guarantee funding.

Eligibility Requirements:

Small business electricity customers may be eligible for CEAP-SB funding if they meet the following criteria:

1. 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.

2. 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

3. 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.

4. 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.

If you previously received funding under this program and are reapplying based on overdue amounts still owing, you may qualify for additional funding up to a total combined maximum credit of $1,500.

If you are not eligible for CEAP-SB, your business may still be eligible for property tax and energy bill rebates. More information can be found here.

CEAP -SB Benefit Amounts

A small business or charity electricity customer may receive an aggregate credit of up to $1,500 under CEAP-SB.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Frequently Asked Customer Questions:

1. What has changed?

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.

2.  How do I know if I qualify?

Any Small business or charity that falls under the criteria listed above, whose account shows overdue amounts owing from one or more previous bills since March 17, 2020 (including accounts subject to an arrears payment agreement) may be qualified for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB).

3. How much assistance is available?

Small businesses and charities can now receive a credit of up to $1,500.

4. What if a business or registered charity has multiple locations?

A small buisness or registered charitable organization that has multiple locations can receive a CEAP-SB credit for each location towards their electricity or natural gas bills.

5. If I did not qualify under the previous rules, should I apply again?

ENWIN will automatically reprocess applications for customers who did not qualify, in the order in which the applications were received, before February 15, 2021.

If you were unable to qualify on your previous application, there is no need to reapply.

The amount credited to any eligible customer will be based on the current overdue balance, minus any benefit already received under this program.

6. If I have already received funding under the previous rules, can I apply again?

Customers who have already received CEAP-SB funding, and who currently have an outstanding balance, may still be qualified to receive an additional credit. These customers must file a new application.

The aggregate allowable credit to any customer account from all applications (current or previous) must not exceed the current allowable limits.

The amount credited to any eligible customer will be based on the current overdue balance less any previous CEAP-SB credits applied to their account.

7. How can I apply for CEAP-SB?

ENWIN has posted the CEAP-SB application form on its website, and will make it available directly to any residential customer that requests it.  Print or download the application online or contact ENWIN for assistance.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, click here for the CEAP-SB Application Form.

Submitting an application for CEAP-SB to your utility does not guarantee funding.

CEAP funding is limited. Submitting an application for CEAP-SB to your utility does not guarantee funding.

8. When will ENWIN process my application?

Distribution companies are required to reprocess any previous, unsuccessful applications first. We expect to complete this process by February 15, 2021.

Following completion of this process, new applications will be processed in the order in which they are received.

9. Is there a deadline to apply for CEAP-SB?

Funding for the program is limited, and utilities 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.

In the summer of 2020, the Government of Ontario made $8 million available to support small business and registered charity customers who have overdue amounts on their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. In March 2021, the government made an additional $23 million available to support both residential and small business customers.

Each utility has been allocated a share of that amount, based on how many Small Business customers they have.  ENWIN will stop delivering CEAP-SB once their allocated share of CEAP-SB funding runs out.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

BACKGROUND:

In the summer of 2020, the Government of Ontario made $8 million available to support small business and registered charity customers who have overdue amounts on their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. In March 2021, the government made an additional $23 million available to support both residential and small business customers.

The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) and the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) are delivered directly by electricity and natural gas utilities and unit sub-meter providers (USMPs), further to rules laid out by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB).

CEAP-SB allows an on-bill credit for eligible small business electricity and natural gas customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. 

CEAP-SB funding is limited.  Utilities and USMPs are expected to first process existing denied applications (those received that did not previously qualify), followed by existing new applications, in the order in which they are received.

Submittin