Supporting customers, protecting our employees and the public
Recognizing the uncertainty associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic, Hydro Ottawa is taking measures to help our customers, and protect the health and safety of our employees and the residents of the City of Ottawa and the village of Casselman while ensuring to provide reliable electricity services.
Helping customers manage electricity costs
Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, Hydro Ottawa has been working closely with the Ontario Energy Board and Ontario Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, to address customer concerns about managing electricity costs.
A number of programs and options are available to customers experiencing difficulty with paying their electricity bills.
A number of financial assistance programs are available to qualifying customers.
Through CEAP and CEAP-SB, the Government of Ontario is providing support for residential, small business and registered charity customers who have fallen behind on their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Provincial funding is limited and we encourage you to apply as soon as possible.
For more information on CEAP and CEAP-SB, you can also visit the Ontario Energy Board’s website at oeb.ca/ceap.
LEAP provides eligible low-income customers with a one-time payment of up to $500 per household per calendar year ($600 if a customer’s home is heated electrically), which is automatically credited to the customer’s electricity bill.
OESP provides eligible low-income customers with a fixed credit of up to $900 dollars a year on their electricity bills. Customers with electrically heated homes, or that rely on certain medical devices requiring more electricity, are offered a higher level of assistance.
Additional support for businesses
The provincial and federal governments have announced separate measures to provide additional financial support to businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Provincial government support:
- Federal government support:
Electricity bill payment options
Customers may request flexible payment plans in order to allow more time to pay outstanding balances on their account.
An Equal Monthly Payment Plan (EMPP) allows customers to spread out their annual electricity costs over 12 equal monthly payments. This plan is available to qualifying residential and small business customers.
Arrears Payment Agreements (APA) are available. APAs allow customers more time to pay outstanding balances in order to avoid disconnection, and are interest-free.
We encourage you to use our online services that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by visiting hydroottawa.com/MyAccount.
Note: We are experiencing an increased amount of customer inquiries. Therefore you may have a longer wait time than usual on our telephone lines.
Important Notice: The temporary fixed rate of 8.5 ¢/kWh that was in effect for all time-of-use (TOU) and tiered rates customers since January 1, 2021 has ended.
As of February 23, 2021, RPP customers will pay the prices that were set by the Ontario Energy Board on December 15, 2020 (see below).
For more information, please refer to the Ontario Energy Board electricity rates page at oeb.ca/rates-and-your-bill
Customer Choice Program
As of November 1, 2020, there are two electricity rate options that residential and small business customers, who are billed under the provincial Regulated Price Plan, can choose from: time-of-use (TOU) rates and tiered rates.
A rate plan selection form , as well as additional information and tools to help customers make the right decision for their energy needs, is available at hydroottawa.com/yourchoice and on the MyAccount customer portal.
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has also released a number of tools to help consumers, including an energy bill calculator to compare what your electricity bill might look like if you switched from TOU to tiered pricing, and a dedicated customer choice webpage available at oeb.ca/choice.
Starting November 15, 2020, the provincial government’s ban on electricity disconnections for non-payment for residential customers will be in place until April 30, 2021.
We realize that some of our customers may be experiencing financial uncertainty during these difficult times, and we want you to know that there are options available to help you.
Electricity conservation programs and tips
Conservation programs are available to help customers reduce their energy use. Some of these are special programs for low-income customers.
When you make small energy efficiency changes around the house, you use less electricity. Find energy-saving tips to help manage your home energy use.
The Energy Affordability Program
The Energy Affordability Program can help you better manage your monthly electricity costs and improve your home comfort.
Scams during the COVID-19 emergency
Hydro Ottawa is aware of increasing efforts by fraudsters attempting to take advantage of consumer uncertainty during this COVID-19 emergency.
If you receive a message, text or phone call from someone posing as a Hydro Ottawa representative and threatening to disconnect your power, do not respond to it. Contact us directly using the telephone number displayed on your bill.
Customers are also reminded of the following tips to stay safe:
- Never make a payment for a charge that isn’t listed on your most recent bill
- Ignore text messages or emails with suspicious links promising refunds
- Don’t call the number provided to you. Instead, call Hydro Ottawa directly at 613-738-6400 to check the status of your account
- Do not provide any personal information or details about your account
- If you feel threatened in any way, contact 911 or the Ottawa Police Service at 613-236-1222 ext. 5433
- Visit Hydro Ottawa’s Fraud Awareness page for more information.
Working in your neighbourhood
As an essential and critical service provider to our National Capital Region, especially during a pandemic, you may see Hydro Ottawa crews working in your neighbourhood, ensuring you have a safe and reliable supply of electricity to your home, and for our city's hospitals, first responders, pharmacies and grocery stores.
At this time, only work or service disruptions that are deemed critical or necessary to keep the system running safely and reliably are moving forward. By doing this work, which sometimes involves short planned outages, we avoid the potential for larger and longer disruptions at a later time.
Our safety measures
Hydro Ottawa has put in place preventive measures to protect the health and safety of our employees and the public. Employees are reminded to practice social distancing and hygiene measures. Whenever possible, employees are working remotely.
Rest assured that our field employees will continue to provide essential services and our power line workers will continue to respond. If they are required to visit any premises, our field employees will follow all safety measures issued by public health authorities.
Furthermore, our crews will not be entering any occupied premise, such as residential homes, Long Term Care facilities, Day Care centres, unless risk has been carefully assessed.
Keeping you informed
We continue to monitor the situation closely and will implement new measures as the situation progresses.