01 June 2020 – Support for invidividuals struggling with electricity bills during COVID-19

Type of Intervention: Financial and Economic
Sectors Involved: Finance/Economy
Intervention Categories: Finance policy and financial aid; Stimulus packages and financial support
Level of Jurisdiction: Ontario
Lead People/Agency: Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Bill Walker, Associate Minister of Energy.

Overview: The Ontario government announced support for provincial energy consumers, intended to especially help those struggling to pay energy bills as a result of COVID-19. Three initiatives were announced, including a $9 million investment for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program to support consumers struggling to pay energy bills during the pandemic, $8 million for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Businesses struggling to meet payments due to the pandemic, and an extension of the Ontario Energy Board’s winter disconnection ban until July 31, 2020. The government will also continue to subsidize electricity bills by 31.8% through the Ontario Electricity Rebate.
Full details here: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/06/ontario-supports-those-struggling-with-electricity-bills-during-covid-19.html

Type of Justification: Advice of INTERNAL government advisory committee or group
Source of Evidence or Justification: Sub-national, Ontario Energy Board
Evidence/Justification: The government cites providing support and stability for consumers and helping to ensure recovery from the COVID-19 crisis as the main justification for this measure. The government is working in consultation with the Ontario Energy Board and local distribution companies to develop plans to keep rates stable and affordable. This measure along with the COVID-19 Recovery Rate announced recently are based on the forecast average electricity supply cost for Regulated Price Plan consumers as of November 1, 2019, as published in the Ontario Energy Board’s most recent RPP Price Report.