Expanding Support for Learners Program and Lowering Hydro Bills
Our PC government’s aim during these extraordinarily challenging times is to continue supporting those impacted hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak — Ontario families. To that end, today we were pleased to announce new initiatives to support Ontarians at home during the provincewide shutdown.
First, our government is expanding the Support for Learners program to include all secondary school students. The expanded program, which will be launched in January 2021, will see parents of secondary school students receive a one-time payment of $200 to help with education expenses. Support will be available for those who attend a public or private school or are home schooled. Application instructions will be available on the Support for Learners web page starting in January. Applications will remain open for the Support for Learners program for children or youth aged 0 to 12, or 0 to 21 with special needs.
Additionally, starting January 1, 2021, we will implement a 28-day period where electricity consumption will be billed at the lowest price, the off-peak rate of 8.5 cents, 24 hours a day. The 28-day off-peak price will apply to residential, small businesses and farm customers who pay time-of-use or tiered rates.
We are also making it easier for families and businesses to receive support on their overdue electricity bills through the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). Any residential, small business, or registered charity customer with an overdue electricity or natural gas bill will now be eligible to apply. A residential customer can receive up to $750 for their electricity bill and an additional $750 for their natural gas bill. Small businesses can receive up to $1500 for each. Newly eligible customers can apply for these enhanced benefits through their local utility, starting in January 2021.
We are committed to minimizing financial burden and supporting people while our government asks them to stay home.