Utility Assistance Program
The United Way of Bruce Grey’s Utility Assistance Program provides grants, of up to $500 or $600 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. Full details on how each individual program works is below.
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.
Community Supports and Programs
211 is a terrific resource for finding 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.
MOST OF THESE PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE ONLY TO HOUSEHOLDS WITHIN THE LOW INCOME CRITERIA.
LEAP-Hydro One: Will pay up to $500.00 every 12 months on an electricity bill. If you heat with electricity, it is $600.00. Call 1-855-487-5327 to register first.
Westario: Will pay up to $500.00 every 12 months on an electricity bill. If you heat with electricity, it is $600.00. Funds are limited. Call 211 to register and check availability.
LEAP – Union Gas: Will pay up to $500.00 every 12 months against a Union Gas bill. Call 1-855-487-5327 to register first.
Utility Relief Fund: The United Way Bruce Grey fundraises for this program and will pay up to $600.00 every 12 months for heating (wood, oil, propane). Call 211 to register first.
Ontario Energy Support Program: O.E.S.P.: Low income households can now receive a monthly credit on their Hydro Bill of at least $35.00. The credit will continue for 2 to 5 years, depending on income and age. Call 211 to register first.
Sustainable Housing Benefit (Grey County): The County offers a grant to help with emergency housing needs including critical repairs, rent arrears, utility costs, moving expenses etc. Call 519-376-5744.
Housing Stability Fund (Bruce County): The County offers a grant to help with emergency housing needs including critical repairs, rent arrears, utility costs, moving expenses etc. Call 1-800-265-3022 or 519-396-3450.
Affordability Fund and HAP – For Homeowners and Tenants – Depending on the burden your electricity bill bears on your income, this program helps households to insulate, exchange old appliances, perform a free energy audit OR offer Energy Star lightbulbs, power bars, faucet aerators, thermostats etc. Conditions apply. AFT is designed to help people who do not qualify for low-income conservation programs and who are unable to undertake energy efficiency improvements without support. For more information on this program, visit www.AffordabilityFund.org or contact Kim Williams, Outreach Coordinator for Bruce and Grey Counties at: (613) 808-0180 or email@example.com.
SaveOnEnergy REBATES: Heating and cooling incentives for Homeowners. Savings on air conditioning, heating, circulator pumps and duct work upgrades. Call 1-877-797-9473.
Ontario Renovates: For Homeowners – Both Counties offer a grant to help with major critical home repairs and/or renovations such as roofing, heating, plumbing etc. Call 1-800-265-3022 or 396-3450 in Bruce or 376-2208 in Grey.
Secondary Suite: For Homeowners – Funding of up to $25,000.00 to add a secondary suite in your home for low rental purposes. Call 211 to find the program information for your community.
Free Income Tax Preparation: If your income is below certain guidelines you can visit any of many Free Tax Preparation Clinics in Grey Bruce. Filing Income Tax Returns offer many other benefits. Call 211 to see which office is closest to you.
Backpacks: A fully loaded backpack for September. Be sure to register first by calling 211 between June 15th and the last Friday of August.