The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit is a rebate program by the Ontario government that helps compensate for the cost of electricity. The program has been around since 2012, and is meant to help take the sting off of rising electricity prices – especially as the province has introduced, and expanded rates for, time-of-use billing, which will charge you different power rates based on the time of day. This isn’t done for nothing, however – it’s part of the Ontario government’s push to lower electricity usage.
As many households have voiced concern that their power bills would go up under time-of-use billing, the government introduced the rebate program.
All told, the province estimates that the average household saves roughly $190 a year through the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit.
The benefit is a 10 percent rebate that is applied to the initial 3,000 kilowatt hours of electricity consumption for a single month. According to the province, your average family of four will consume some 800 kilowatt hours of electricity a month, meaning their final monthly power bill will receive a 10 percent rebate. Some four million residential power users are receiving the benefit.
The rebate applies to all aspects of your typical utility power bill:
- Delivery charges
- Debt retirement charge
- HST charges
- Electricity charges
- Regulation-required charges
Houses containing medical equipment that have been prescribed by a health official and uses energy can apply for a medical exemption from the 3,000 kwH cap, while customers living on First Nations are exempt from the monthly cap.
But homes aren’t the only ones who receive the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit.
The rebate also helps out farms and small businesses (who consume less than 250,000 kilowatt hours each year). Multi-unit apartment buildings also qualify.
Do you have to do anything to apply for the rebate? No! Most users, including families, will automatically qualify when they file their taxes. For multi-unit apartment buildings, there’s one hoop they must jump through – confirming with their utility the number of rental units in the building.
However, under the current law, this year (2015) is the last the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit will be in effect, as it is set to end on December 31, 2015.