COVID-19

COVID-19

Helping customers, protecting our employees and the public

Recognizing the uncertainty associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic, Hydro Ottawa is taking measures to help customers, 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.

Time-of-use (TOU) electricity pricing

Effective June 1, 2020, the provincial government introduced the COVID-19 Recovery Rate.

Households, farms and small business customers, who pay time-of-use (TOU) electricity rates, will be billed at the fixed rate of 12.8 cents per kWh 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The fixed electricity rate will be in place from June 1 to October 31, 2020. Winter time-of-use (TOU) periods will also remain in effect.

For more information, please refer to the Ontario Energy Board TOU electricity rates page.

The 12.8 ¢/kWh pricing applies automatically – no customer action is required.

Deferral of Global Adjustment charges

To provide companies with temporary immediate relief on their electricity bills, the Ontario government has implemented an Emergency Order (EO) on Friday, May 1, 2020 and is deferring a portion of Global Adjustment (GA) charges for industrial and commercial electricity consumers that do not participate in the Regulated Price Plan (RPP), starting from April 2020.

All rates related to the Global Adjustment charges are posted on the Independent Electricity System Operator’s website.

More information and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) on the GA Emergency Order are available here.

Electricity service disconnection ban

The provincial government has extended the ban on electricity disconnections for non-payment for all residential customers until July 31, 2020. Low-volume, small business customers will now also be protected by the ban.

As of March 18, 2020, Hydro Ottawa has extended the ban on electricity disconnections to all of its customers.

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. We encourage everyone to stay vigilant and know that the provincial disconnection ban is extended until July 31, 2020 to all customers. Hydro Ottawa will not disconnect your power for non-payment during this difficult time.

Customers are 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

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.

Weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (excluding statutory holidays.)

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.

Financial assistance

A number of financial assistance programs are available to qualifying customers.

COVID-19 Energy Assistance Programs

COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for residential customers (CEAP)

The Government of Ontario is providing support for residential customers who have fallen behind on their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The objective of this expansion - known as the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) is to help residential customers catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments.

Through the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) you may be eligible to receive a one-time credit on your electricity bill.

As prescribed by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), an application form for residential customers will be available starting July 13, 2020

CEAP funding is limited. Applying for the one-time credit does not guarantee that CEAP support will be provided. Once the first-come, first-served provincial program funds are depleted, the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program will close.

Visit hydroottawa.com/ceap to learn more about the program details, eligibility requirements and the different ways to submit your application form.

You can save time and submit your application today using Hydro Ottawa’s online form at hydroottawa.com/ceap-form.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) on the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) are also available here.

The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB)

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is currently working with the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines (Ministry) and provincial utilities, including Hydro Ottawa, in identifying the program details, eligibility and delivery mechanism of the new COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for small businesses. Details will be provided as soon as they are made available.

Low-income Energy Assistance Program (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) 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.

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 AffordAbility FundTM

If a customer doesn’t qualify for LEAP or OESP, the AffordAbility Fund™ can help. The AffordAbility Fund™ is designed to help lower monthly electricity costs by improving energy efficiency of the home. Customers may qualify for free upgrades.

The Home Assistance Program

The Home Assistance Program can help you better manage your monthly electricity costs and improve your home comfort.

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 centers, unless risk has been carefully assessed.

Keeping you informed

As COVID-19 uncertainty increases, Hydro Ottawa wants to help customers stay informed and get the support they need.

Visit these government official websites for more information:

Government of Canada

For more information on the federal government’s COVID-19 response, including the current national numbers, public safety and travel bans, as well as financial and economic support for residents and businesses, visit Canada.ca.

Government of Ontario

For an overview of what the government of Ontario is doing to help and support Ontarians, visit Ontario.ca or Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID19 

City of Ottawa

For more information on the City of Ottawa’s COVID-10 financial support and assistance visit Ottawa.ca.

You can also get the latest information on topics such as COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolation, travel and tips on preventing the spread by visiting Ottawa Public Health.

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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