Beginning on January 1st to the 28th, 2021, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has set new electricity prices for households and small businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Support for customers during the province-wide shutdown
The province-wide shutdown means that more people will be staying home or running their small businesses from home. The Ontario Government has taken steps to hold the price of electricity at 8.5 ¢/kWh for electricity used from January 1 until the end of the day on January 28, 2021. Residential, small business and farm customers on Time-of-Use and Tiered price plans set under the Ontario Energy Board’s Regulated Price Plan will pay that fixed price. So, no matter what time of day you use your electricity, or how much you use, the fixed price will apply.
The price change will happen automatically. No customer action is required. For more information, visit oeb.ca.
With everything going on in the world right now, we know you have a lot to think about. The services provided by GSU and Group of Companies shouldn’t add to your stress. We have taken the following steps to try to ease your mind, with help from the Government of Ontario.
COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business and Registered Charity Customers
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. Greater Sudbury Hydro is expected to process applications in the order in which they are received. Submitting an application for CEAP-SB to Greater Sudbury Hydro does not guarantee funding.
Small businesses and registered charities may be eligible for CEAP-SB if they meet all of the following criteria.
a) The customer has an active account with an electricity distributor, a USMP or a natural gas distributor.
b) 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.
Customers can find information about their class on their bill, or they can contact their distributor or USMP.
c) The customer has a registered business number or charitable registration number for the small business or registered charity operating out of the premises.
d) 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.
e) 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.
f) 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, you can apply for CEAP-SB through Greater Sudbury Hydro or USMP. Each may have a unique approach for application in-take.
The CEAP-SB application form is available on Greater Sudbury Hydro and USMP websites 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.
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.
It’s easy to apply. All you have to do is complete and submit an application form.
The Government of Ontario is providing $9 million to support residential customers struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) is 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 is a one time, on-bill credit for eligible residential electricity and natural gas customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. Click here to visit OEB’s website for more information and to see if your household qualifies.
How to apply for a CEAP credit:
It’s easy to apply. All you have to do is complete and submit an application form.
If you have any questions, please phone our Customer Service department at 705-675-7536, between the hours 8:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
Other support programs available
If you aren’t eligible for CEAP, you may still be eligible for lower-income energy support programs such as the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) and the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, which is expected to reopen later this summer.
Deferral of Global Adjustment (GA) Charges
Ontario is deferring a portion of Global Adjustment (GA) charges for industrial, commercial and residential electricity consumers that do not participate in the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) (i.e. pay Global Adjustment as a separate charge on the bill), starting from April 2020. The GA rate for applicable consumers (i.e., Class B) has been set at $115 per megawatt-hour, which is roughly in line with March 2020 value. Class A consumers will receive the same percentage reduction in GA charges as Class B consumers.
The government intends to keep this relief in place through the end of June 2020, subject to necessary extensions and approvals to implement this initiative.
Applicable electricity consumers will automatically see this relief reflected on their bills. Consumers who have already received their April (consumption) bill should see an adjustment on a future bill.
Please contact Greater Sudbury Hydro with questions about your bill. For more information:
Every day, we work with customers who are having financial trouble, and we will continue that practice. If you are having trouble paying your bill, please be proactive and contact us. Start the conversation. Whether you are a residential or commercial customer, we want to help you get through this.
Even though our offices are closed to the public, we offer several ways to pay your bill.View Bill Payment Options
For Agilis Networks telecommunications customers:
- Online: email@example.com or for technical assistance firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 705.675.0516
- Toll-free: 1.855.232.2322
We have closed our offices to the public. You can reach us by email, telephone or by using forms on our websites.
Being connected has never been more important. Telecommunications are key to keeping your business running smoothly in these challenging times. We have divided and isolated teams in all business lines. No matter what happens, there will be people available to maintain your service and answer your questions.
Staff and our regular suppliers/contractors who may attend at a home or business are equipped appropriately. They will ask if anyone is ill or has recently returned from outside Canada, and may not enter if there is an active risk. When they do enter premises, they will practice social distancing and appreciate that you respectfully do the same.
All companies will continue to provide essential services, and we will be deferring non-essential activities to a later date. For Greater Sudbury Hydro all essential maintenance projects will continue in order to preserve system reliability.
It may not be “business as usual” but we know that we provide an essential service in this community, and we must ensure that lights stay on.
Be calm—we’ll get through this together. And be kind to each other—even across social and physical distance.