The Government of Ontario is providing support for small business and registered charity customers that have fallen behind in their bill payments as a result of the COVID-19 emergency.
Through the provincial program - known as the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) you may be eligible to receive the on-bill credit if you meet the provincial program’s criteria:
- As of the date you are applying, your small business or registered charity has an active account with Hydro Ottawa.
- The account is with a sub-meter provider and is using less than 150,000 kWh of electricity annually.
- Your small business or registered charity is classified as a general service < 50 kW customer if the account is with an electricity distributor.
- 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. In other words, all amounts for electricity charges that were payable on or before that date had been fully paid.
- As of the date you are applying, your small business or registered charity has 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 calendar days as a result of a government order or an inability to adapt your business or charity 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.
Examples of what closures might include, but are not limited to:
- Personal Services that had to fully close;
- A restaurant or coffee shop that had to close regular dining operations and provided only take-out or delivery service;
- A retailer whose premise was closed to the public but was able to provide contactless curbside pick-up for customers;
- A non-publicly funded registered charity whose premise was closed to the public but was able to adapt to provide limited services remotely.
Through CEAP-SB, you could be eligible to receive up to $850 in support if electricity is your primary source for heating and up to $425 otherwise.
Please note that CEAP-SB funding is limited and applying for the on bill credit does not guarantee that financial support will be provided. Applications will be processed in the order they are received.
Once the first-come, first-served provincial program funds are depleted, the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) will close.
In order to submit an application, you must be the account holder (the person whose name is on the bill / or the person who’s authorized to act on behalf of the account).
Please complete only one CEAP-SB electricity application for your registered small business or registered charity. 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 are not eligible for CEAP-SB, your place of residence may still be eligible for the residential CEAP program or lower-income energy support programs. You may also visit the Ontario Energy Board’s website for more information.
Your small business may be eligible for current conservation programs being offered to our commercial customers. Visit our conservation programs page for more information.
Before you begin, make sure that you have a copy of your Hydro Ottawa bill for reference.
You will need the following information to apply:
- The electricity bill account number (First 10 digits - as they appear on your bill);
- The service address (as it appears on your bill);
- The account holder’s full name (As it appears on your bill); and
- Small businesses must provide their registered business number and charitable organizations must provide their charitable registration number.
Please see Hydro Ottawa bill sample below
You must enter your information exactly as it appears on your electricity bill. If the information is not entered as it appears on your bill, your application may not be processed until the information can be corrected and verified.
If you have natural gas service, you may apply separately for natural gas CEAP-SB support through your natural gas utility.
Complete applications can take up to 10 days for processing. If approved, the on-bill credit amount will appear on your next bill or the following one, depending on where you are in the billing cycle.
Hydro Ottawa will review your application and notify you whether you are eligible for CEAP-SB.
Hydro Ottawa offers different ways to submit your application.
BY EMAIL: Using the Ontario Energy Board’s PDF Fillable CEAP-SB Application Form. Once completed and signed, please save your application form and send it by email.
Please note that due to the secure nature of this form, open it either in Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat. Otherwise, please use Hydro Ottawa’s customized online form available at hydroottawa.com/ceap-sb-form.
EMAIL: [email protected]
BY PHONE: Customers can submit their application by phone through Hydro Ottawa’s call center. Our call center representatives will accept applications over the phone. Your call will be recorded to document confirmation of all information requested on the application form, including consent and the applicant’s attestation of eligibility.
Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (excluding statutory holidays.)
BY MAIL: You may print the completed signed form and send it by mail to Hydro Ottawa. If you do not have the ability to print the application form, contact us and Hydro Ottawa will send you a copy by mail.
Please note that sending your application by mail could delay the processing of your CEAP-SB application. Applications will be processed in the order they are received. CEAP-SB funding is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
PO Box 8700
Ottawa, ON K1G 3S4
Attn: Customer Service – CEAP-SB Application Form
If you need help to complete the application form, please contact us by telephone at 613 738-6400. Our Customer Service representatives are available to assist you Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (excluding statutory holidays.)
You can also reach us at [email protected]
CEAP-SB Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are also available to assist you.
For more information on CEAP-SB, you can also visit the Ontario Energy Board’s website at ontarioenergyboard.ca.