COVID-19

COVID-19 EN

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.

Financial assistance

A number of financial assistance programs and payment options are available to qualifying customers experiencing difficulty with paying their electricity bills.

Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)

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.

The Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP)

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

Learn about changes to government programs and available supports as your business recovers from COVID-19.

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.

Contact us to discuss payment options, online at hydroottawa.com/contact or by phone at 613 738-6400.

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.

Electricity rates

May 2021 Electricity Price Change and Ontario Electricity Rebate

On May 1, 2021, new Time-of-Use (TOU) and Tiered prices come into effect for residential and small business customers under the Ontario Energy Board’s (OEB) Regulated Price Plan (RPP). The summer TOU hours, as well as the summer Tier threshold for residential customers, are also effective May 1, 2021. The OEB regulates the province’s energy sector and sets these rates.

The Ontario Government is also changing the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER) percentage effective May 1, 2021.

Customer Choice Program

Since 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.

There are also two different online tools available to help customers make a choice and compare TOU and tiered rate plans.

You can take advantage of Hydro Ottawa’s new Rate Plan Comparison Tool and get a personalized cost comparison between your current rate plan versus the alternative.

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. 

You can also visit the OEB’s dedicated customer choice webpage available at oeb.ca/choice.

Electricity service disconnection ban for residential customers

A provincial government disconnection ban for residential customers has been in effect since November 15, 2020.

Following the Ontario government’s provincewide ‘’Stay-at-Home Order’’ the Ontario Energy Board extended the winter disconnection ban, initially scheduled to end April 30, 2021, to June 2, 2021 for all residential customers.

On June 3, 2021, Hydro Ottawa resumed its normal disconnection procedures and practices. 

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.

Disconnection is the last resort for our company and we are here to help.

Contact us to discuss flexible payment arrangements, as well as financial assistance programs you may qualify for.

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.

New developments or updates will be updated on this page, shared as a news release and posted on Twitter and Facebook.

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