Utility Assistance Program
The United Way of Bruce Grey’s Utility Assistance Program provides grants, of up to $500 per funding source or utility, to low-income residents. The accounts need to be in arrears or are at risk of disconnection, or are already disconnected.
Applicants must meet strict income guidelines to be eligible for this program. The United Way has also implemented a policy that, when possible, applicants receive financial literacy counselling to address other issues that may present during the application process. This ensures that basic needs are addressed rather than outstanding issues with consumer debt etc. It is hoped that the onetime help will provide the clients with the ability to maintain their utility needs moving forward.
Intakes for this program are managed by the 211 Information and Referral service.
Home weatherization – there are programs out there that can help insulate, replace some appliances etc, watch our video for more information and call 211, they can direct you to the appropriate program near you.
The Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) is a new proposed initiative that would provide assistance directly on the bills of eligible low-income electricity consumers following the conclusion of the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit (OCEB) on December 31, 2015.
If you are not a tax filer or would like assistance in filling out this application please call 211
Reports and History
Utility supports and programs
211 is a terrific resource for finding different programs in our community to help with the day to day challenges. However, just to lend a little insight into what you might be missing, here is a start on some of the more vital and most used programs in Grey Bruce and the province. THESE PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE ONLY TO HOUSEHOLDS THAT FIT THE LOW INCOME CRITERIA.
Credit Canada: Can assist households with arrears over $2000 without negatively affecting credit scores 1-800-267-2272
LEAP – Electricity: Will pay up to $500.00 every 12 months on an electricity bill. If you heat with electricity, it is $600.00. The Household Income needs to be below a certain income level to qualify. Can be done by phone directly with United Way Simcoe County, or at an agency in your community. MUST call 1-855-487-5327 to register first.
LEAP – Union Gas: Will pay up to $500.00 every 12 months against a Union Gas bill. The Household Income needs to be below a certain income level to qualify. Call 211 to find the local program.
Utility Assistance Program: Some Food Banks, housing programs or United Ways have additional funding for heating (wood, oil, propane). The Household Income needs to be below a certain income level to qualify. Call 211 to find a program in your community.
O.E.S.P.: Starting January 1st, 2016, low income households can now receive a monthly credit on their Hydro Bill of, at least $30.00. The credit will continue for 2, 3 or 5 years, depending on income. OntarioElectricitySupport.ca or 1-855-831-8151 for more information and to apply
Community Homeless Prevention Innovative County or city Social Services departments offers a grant (CHPI) to help with emergency housing needs including critical repairs, rent arrears, utility costs, moving expenses etc. Call 211 to find a program in your community.
Ontario Renovates: County or city Social Services departments offer a grant to help with major critical home repairs and/or renovations such as roofing, heating, plumbing etc. Call 211 to find a program in your community.
Ecofitt (Natural Gas customers only): If you heat with natural gas, the Ecofitt program will come into your home to assess your heating efficiency. They will insulate basement to attic if that is the cause of heat loss, draft proof doors and windows and weather strip where needed. Call 211 to find a program in your community.
HAP/Greensaver/SaveOnEnergy: The Home Assistance Program is focused on helping all electricity users to cut down on their usage by way of replacing old appliances such as a fridge, freezer, air conditioner and de-humidifier. Call 211 to find a program in your community.