Natural gas and electricity utilities across Ontario are now delivering the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business or CEAP-SB, funded by the Government of Ontario. CEAP-SB provides a one-time, on-bill credit to eligible small business and charitable organization electricity and natural gas customers, who have experienced hardships as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The maximum credit a CEAP-SB eligible customer may receive is $850 if they primarily use electricity for heating, and $425 otherwise. The maximum credit a CEAP-SB eligible natural gas customer may receive is $425. Customers may be eligible for both.
“We understand that this has been a very difficult time for our community. For customers who are struggling to pay their bills due to the pandemic, we encourage you to apply to the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Businesses,” says Jim Keech, president and CEO of Utilities Kingston. “The program is 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.”
Know your utility provider and apply with the right one
Utilities Kingston natural gas and electricity customers can apply here.
Hydro One electricity customers can learn more and apply at HydroOne.com.
Enbridge gas customers can learn more and apply at EnbridgeGas.com.
There is no application deadline, however funding for the program is limited. Complete applications for eligible customers will be processed in the order received and we will apply any available credit to the next bill.
Utilities Kingston natural gas and electricity customers can apply online.
The purpose of CEAP-SB is to support those small business and registered charity customers who have fallen behind in their bill payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
You are eligible for this program if you meet certain criteria, including the following:
Your small business or registered charity did not have any overdue amounts on its electricity bill on March 17, 2020, the date of the Provincial Declaration of Emergency.
As of the date you are applying, your small business or registered charity has any overdue amounts owing from at least two electricity bills since March 17, 2020.
Your small business or registered charity was required to close its premises to members of the public for regular operations for at least fifteen days as a result of a government order or an inability to adapt your business or charity to comply with public health recommendations. “Closed” 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.
You cannot receive CEAP-SB funding for multiple storefronts or locations, and you can only receive CEAP-SB funding from your electricity provider once. If you have natural gas service, you may also be able to apply separately for natural gas CEAP-SB support through your natural gas utility.
Examples of eligible small business and charitable organizations:
Personal services (e.g., hair salon, chiropractor) that had to fully close.
A restaurant or coffee shop that had to close regular dining operations and provided only takeaway or delivery service.
A small fashion retailer or pet store whose premises was closed to the public but was able to provide contactless curbside pick for customers.
A non-publicly funded registered charity whose premises was closed to the public but was able to adapt to provide limited services remotely.
Learn about benefit amounts and the complete eligibility criteria, and get answers to frequently asked questions, from the Ontario Energy Board website.
Help for residential customers
Utilities Kingston is also accepting applications for CEAP for residential customers.
CEAP residential provides a one-time, on-bill credit to eligible residential electricity and natural gas customers who have experienced hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is intended to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments.
We’re here to support you
We at Utilities Kingston recognize this is a difficult time for our community and are letting our customers know: we're here to support you. If you are not eligible for CEAP but are concerned about paying your bill, experiencing hardship, or have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact our credit department using our online payment assistance form. ***note this is not the form to apply for CEAP.
A member of our team will review your request and respond by email or phone call, as quickly as possible. Alternatively, you can call us at 613-546-1181, ext. 2278, Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM.