• Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan and Proposed Changes to the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP)
  • April 25, 2017 | Authors: Jessica-Ann Buchta; John A.D. Vellone
  • Law Firm: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP - Toronto Office
  • On March 9, 2017, the Ministry of Energy (the "Ministry") posted proposed changes to the Ontario Electricity Support Program (the "OESP") and associated O.Reg. 314/15.

    The changes are intended to support the implementation of the Fair Hydro Plan.

    The OESP is an income-tested, application based program that lowers electricity costs for the most vulnerable consumers, providing a credit directly on bills. There are two scales: one with basic credits, and an enhanced credit for Indigenous people or those who use electric heat or certain electrically intensive medical devices.

    The Ministry has proposed increasing the OESP by 50%, meaning that single, low-income consumers who receive the lowest credit amount would get an increase from $30 to $45 per month ($540 per year, an increase of $180). For single customers receiving the lowest credit for the enhanced scale, the amount would increase from $45 to $68 ($816 per year, an increase of $276).

    In addition, new household income and size categories would be added to the list of potentially eligible customers. The result is that more Ontarians will be eligible to receive the OESP if they fall under the existing or new categories.

    The Ministry is also exploring automatic qualification and credit amounts for customers who are enrolled in other provincial low-income social programs.

    Proposed OESP Credit Scales

    Household Income After Tax - Household Size (Number of people living in household)

    < $28,000 - $45(1) $45(2) $51(3) $57(4) $63(5) $75(6) $75(7+)
    $28,001 - $39,000 - $40(2) $45(3) $51(4) $57(5) $63(6) $75(7+)
    $39,001 - $48,000 - $35(3) $40(4) $45(5) $51(6) $57(7+)
    $48,000 - $52,000 - $35(5) $40(6) $45(7+)

    Household Income After Tax - Household Size (Number of people living in household) Energy Intensive

    < $28,000 - $68(1) $68(2) $75(3) $83(4) $90(5) $113(6) $113(7+)
    $28,001 - $39,000 - $60(2) $68(3) $75(4) $83(5) $90(6) $113(7+)
    $39,001 - $48,000 - $52(3) $60(4) $68(5) $75(6) $83(7+)
    $48,000 - $52,000 - $52(5) $60(6) $68(7+)

    The Ministry is accepting comments on the proposal until April 8, 2017.