Updating the Income Eligibility Thresholds for the Ontario Electricity Support Program
O. Reg. 14/18
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998
Summary of Decision:
The Ministry of Energy amended Schedule 1 of O. Reg. 14/18 (Ontario Electricity Support Program) under the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 to update the income eligibility thresholds for the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) from the 2010 Low Income Measures to the 2020 Low Income Measures.
The amendment aligns program income requirements with current Statistics Canada data and better reflects recent economic conditions.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The amendment to update OESP's income eligibility thresholds will have no impact on businesses.
Impacts to regulated entities (Local Distribution Companies, Unit Sub-Meter Providers) will be minimal, as they will not have to change their operations/systems for applying OESP credits to electricity bills.
The OESP's delivery partners, including the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) and their Central Service Provider, intake agencies, the Ontario Native Welfare Administrator's Association (ONWAA), Canada Revenue Agency, and the Ministry of Finance, will be impacted by the updated income eligibility thresholds. These delivery partners will need to incorporate the updated thresholds into their processes for assisting/processing OESP applications by the March 1, 2024 effective date.
The Ministry's OESP delivery partners are also expected to have a larger number of applications to process as a result of the updated income eligibility thresholds and the awareness campaign.
The Ministry considers this work part of the administration of OESP.
Summary of Proposal:
ENERGY amended Schedule 1 of O. Reg. 14/18 to update the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) income eligibility thresholds from the 2010 Low-Income Measure (LIM) to 2020 LIM. The amendment aligns program income requirements with current economic conditions and will ensure that OESP continues to be available to help low-income households manage their electricity costs.
The updates to Schedule 1 of the regulation expand access to the program for lower-income households. The regulatory amendment does not otherwise change the operation of the OESP program.
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November 27, 2023