COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business

Since the summer of 2020, the Government of Ontario has made $40 million available to support customers who have overdue amounts on their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 emergency.

The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) provides an on-bill credit to eligible small business and registered charity customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. Small business and registered charity customers may be eligible for up to $1,500 in support and can apply for on-bill credits for both electricity and natural gas separately. Customers who previously received CEAP-SB support that was less than the maximum amount of $1,500 and have additional arrears may apply again, but their total on-bill credits cannot exceed that amount.

CEAP-SB is being delivered by electricity distributors, natural gas distributors and unit sub-meter providers (USMPs), in accordance with rules laid out by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB).

Please note, funding for CEAP-SB is limited and applying does not guarantee Waterloo North Hydro has CEAP-SB funding remaining.

Who is Eligible?

Your small business or registered charity is eligible for CEAP-SB if it is in the GS<50 rate class and is using less than 150,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually if the account is with a unit sub-meter provider while also meeting the following criteria:

  • The account holder has a registered business number or charitable registration number for the business or registered charity operating out of the premises.
  • Your small business or registered charity has overdue amounts owing from one or more previous electricity bill(s) incurred since March 17, 2020, the date of the initial Provincial Declaration of Emergency. This includes accounts subject to an arrears payment arrangement.
  • The account holder has provided a completed application form.

If you previously received funding under this program and are reapplying based on overdue amounts still owing, you may qualify for additional funding up to a total combined maximum credit of $1,500.

If you are not eligible for CEAP-SB, your business may still be eligible for property tax and energy bill rebates. More information can be found at ontario.ca/covidsupport.

In addition, your primary residence may be eligible for residential CEAP or lower-income energy support programs. Please contact your utility for information on entering into a payment agreement. You may also visit the Ontario Energy Board’s website for more information.


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How Much Am I Eligible For?

CEAP-SB funding is limited, and Waterloo North Hydro will process applications in the order they are received. Submitting an application for CEAP-SB to your Waterloo North Hydro does not guarantee funding.

Eligible small business and registered charity customers may qualify for a one-time CEAP-SB credit equal to the electricity charges that are overdue on the date of their application for CEAP-SB, up to a maximum of $1,500.

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How Do I Apply?

Applying for CEAP-SB is easy. WNH has two ways for you to apply.

  1. Complete the online version of the form. Access the online version of the form here.
  2. Complete the PDF version of the form located here. Pour télécharger une version française de ce formulaire, veuillez cliquer ici

Once completed, you can email the form to CEAPSB@wnhydro.com. You can also drop your form in-person at our office, or mail your form to Waterloo North Hydro at:

Waterloo North Hydro
526 Country Squire Rd
Waterloo, ON
N2J 4G8

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How Will I Know if My Application Has Been Approved?

Once you have submitted your application form, you will receive a confirmation email letting you know your application has been submitted and received.

The average processing time for applications is 10 business days. Once Waterloo North Hydro has finished reviewing your application, we will contact you letting you know the result of the review.

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Where Can I Find More Information?

For more information on CEAP-SB, please visit the OEB’s CEAP and CEAP-SB webpage at www.oeb.ca/CEAP.  You can also contact us at CEAPSB@wnhydro.com or by phone at 519-886-5090 with any questions you may have. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can customers apply for CEAP-SB to help with both their electricity and gas bills?
    Yes. Also, small business and registered charity customers who received CEAP-SB support that was less than the maximum amount of $1,500 may apply again, but their total on-bill credits for each bill (electricity and gas) cannot exceed that amount. That means a small business or registered charity customer may receive up to $1,500 for their electricity bill, and up to $1,500 for their gas bill.
     
  2. What if my small business or registered charity has multiple locations?
    A small business or registered charitable organization that has multiple locations can receive a CEAP-SB credit for each eligible location towards their electricity or natural gas bills but will need to apply for each location separately. 
  3. Is there a deadline to apply for CEAP-SB?
    Not at the moment. Funding for the program is limited, however. Utilities and USMPs are expected to process applications in the order in which they are received. CEAP-SB funding is not guaranteed even after a complete application has been submitted.

    Each utility and USMP has been allocated a share of CEAP-SB funding. We will stop accepting applications and providing CEAP-SB credits once our CEAP-SB funding has run out. 
  4. When will I see the credit on my bill?

    Waterloo North Hydro is expected to process complete CEAP-SB applications within 10 business days of receipt. 

    Provided that a customer is eligible and their utility or USMP has CEAP-SB funds remaining when they assess the application as complete, the credit will be applied to the next available bill issued after that.  

  5. Why is there a cap on the maximum amount of the CEAP-SB credit available per eligible customer?
    The maximum amount of support for eligible customers will assist in achieving the government’s objective of making CEAP-SB available to help the most people affected financially by the COVID-19 emergency.
     
  6. I had applied previously and was told my application was not approved due to a lack of funding. Do I have to reapply?
    No. Customers who previously applied but were denied due to a lack of funding will have their original applications reviewed and will be contacted directly if they meet the eligibility criteria and funding is available.

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