For customers who are having difficulties paying their utility bills, Utilities Kingston has several ways to help.
We work closely with social agencies in Kingston to offer assistance and ease the burden of paying utility bills for low-income individuals and families in our local community, while helping to ensure we can continue to provide utility services to their homes.
If you, or someone you know, are having difficulties paying utility bills, please consider the following assistance.
If you are concerned about paying your bill, please contact us to extend payment arrangements. Please call us at 613-546-1181, ext. 2278, Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM.
Monthly credit on the bill
The Ontario Electricity Support Program, or OESP, provides ongoing assistance directly on the bills of eligible low-income electricity consumers.
The OESP on-bill credit amount will depend on how many people live in the house and the combined household income after tax. For enhanced eligible customers (if their home is electrically heated, or they rely on certain medical devices requiring a lot of power, or low-income Indigenous Ontarians) the OESP offers a higher level of assistance.
If you are receiving OESP, you must reapply for the program at least 60 days before your period expires.
Customers can apply or reapply online at OntarioElectricitySupport.ca, or by contacting United Way Simcoe Muskoka for application information and assistance at 1-855-487-5327.
Changes to the Ontario Electricity Support Program
Effective March 1, 2024, income eligibility thresholds for OESP will be increased, to better reflect economic conditions and upward trends in household incomes; resulting in more households becoming eligible to apply for OESP supports. Read more about the increase to OESP.
Energy Affordability Program
Energy Affordability Program (EAP) provides support to income-eligible electricity consumers by helping them to lower their monthly electricity costs and increase their home comfort.
Depending on their situation, participants may receive different energy-saving products and services. Those most in need will qualify for a free home energy needs assessment conducted by a trained energy professional that will help identify energy-efficient upgrades available for their homes, such as replacement of inefficient appliances and professionally installed insulation and draft-proofing. These upgrades may be installed during or after an in-home visit. Other participants may qualify instead for free energy-saving kits. These are customized to meet participants’ energy needs and could include energy-saving LED lighting, timers, faucet aerators and/or a clothes drying line. All expert advice and energy-saving home upgrades under this program are completely free of charge.
Assistance for customers who are in arrears or facing disconnection
The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) for 2023 is now closed and applications are no longer being accepted. Please check back again in 2024 for further assistance to be made available.
The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) offers assistance to customers who are in arrears or facing disconnection of services. Customers can contact United Way Simcoe Muskoka for application information and assistance at 1-855-487-5327. Under LEAP, assistance is available for natural gas and electricity customers. Utilities Kingston has also extended the program to water and wastewater customers.
Discretionary Residency Benefit for utility hookups and utility arrears
The Discretionary Residency Benefit provides financial assistance to Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program recipients who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or moving to more affordable housing.
Through this benefit, residents who are facing disconnection of utility services, can apply for assistance with utility hookups and arrears.
For more information and an application form, see the City of Kingston Community Services page. You may also contact your Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program case worker for information.
One-on-one help to save water, energy and money
Utilities Kingston offers one-on-one assistance from energy conservation experts for all customers. Using information specific to your home, we can help you pin-point energy and water saving opportunities. Call 613-546-1181 and ask to speak with Utilities Kingston conservation.
Know your rights
On November 2, 2017, the OEB issued a Decision and Order banning licensed electricity distributors from disconnecting homes for non-payment during the winter, from November 15 to April 30, each year.
We want to help our customers avoid a disruption in service. There are standard reminders and notices mailed before disconnection occurs. Please follow the instructions noted in these letters so that we can assist.
The Ontario Energy Board developed a list of rules, including for payment plans and disconnection, to ensure all consumers across the province are treated fairly. Review customer service rules for electricity from the Ontario Energy Board to understand repayment options and arrangements, special rules for low-income customers, and more.
- If you receive a reminder letter from us, we would like to work with you to help avoid accruing interest charges and falling further behind on utility payments. Call our credit department at 613-546-1181, extension 2278, Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM so we can explain what help is available.
- If you’re having power reconnected, there are steps you need to take before and after that will help ensure your safety. Review safety tips from the Electrical Safety Authority.
- If your electricity has been disconnected for more than six months, an inspection by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is required to do an on-site, physical electrical inspection before power can be reconnected. This is to address electrical safety hazards that may have developed during that time, including serious fire or shock hazards.
To speak one-on-one with a member of our team, call customer service at 613-546-1181, Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM.
- Water conservation and electricity conservation programs.
- Ontario Electricity Support Program - information for Kingston Hydro customers and a website from Ontario.
- The City of Kingston Homelessness Prevention Fund provides eligible individuals and families grants (non-repayable) to help them stay housed or secure housing and can be considered for utility arrears.