Five Things to Know about the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
The OEB has released the 2016 results of the LEAP Emergency Financial Assistance and Winter Warmth programs. The results track how many electricity and natural gas customers received LEAP funding, how much funding was given and the amount of the average grant.
LEAP serves as a one-time emergency grant for customers who are behind on their electricity or natural gas bills and face disconnection. The grant, which is paid directly to a utility, provides eligible customers with up to $500 in assistance for their electricity bills ($600 if their homes are electrically heated) and up to $500 for their natural gas bills. It is one of several ways that the OEB protects vulnerable consumers.
Here are five things to know about LEAP:
- If you’re eligible for LEAP, you may also be eligible for the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) and certain conservation programs. Speak to your utility or visit oeb.ca/BillHelp.
- From 2012 to 2016, LEAP and the Winter Warmth program (a predecessor to LEAP) have helped more than 82,000 low-income customers keep their electricity and natural gas service.
- In 2016, the average grant to low-income electricity customers was $464. For low-income natural gas customers, it was $341.
- There were 14,330 electricity customers and 5,354 natural gas customers who received LEAP in 2016.
- If you apply for LEAP, electricity distributors, unit sub-meter providers and natural gas distributors will suspend any disconnection process for up to 21 days pending review of your eligibility.