The current COVID-19 situation is putting additional pressures on many housing providers; from re-thinking procedures in common areas to ensure that residents and staff are safe, to considering options for rent relief and food security as many residents experience a loss in income. Amid the pandemic, HSC is continuing to support the sector in any way we can. This includes monitoring government announcements for any initiatives that could affect social housing tenants and providers. In this quarter’s condensed issue, we highlight recent government announcements on electricity relief to help Ontarians through the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have also created a COVID-19 Sector Resources web page, where we have compiled resources shared by housing providers and sector organizations. We will continue to update this page as more resources become available.
Please take care and keep safe, everyone.
In this issue of Energy Matters:
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On March 24, 2020, the provincial government announced that it will suspend time-of-use electricity rates for a 45 day period, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour. This reduced price will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to all time-of-use customers. Customers could see rate reductions of over 50 per cent compared to on-peak rates. The discount will be applied automatically to electricity bills without the need for customers to fill out an application form. Learn more here.
In addition, for providers whose tenants pay for their own utilities, you can advise your tenants that the province will be providing direct support to families for their energy bills by expanding eligibility for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and ensuring that their electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected for nonpayment during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID‑19, which includes the above initiatives, also references a $1.5 billion increase in electricity cost relief compared to the 2019 Budget. HSC will continue to monitor government announcements and relay information as it becomes available. To learn more about the provincial government’s Action Plan, you can read it here.
It’s that time again — we’ve added your utility data into UMP up to the end of 2019. Log-in to UMP to view your latest UMP dashboards and Gas, Electricity, and Water reports. Plus, we’ve updated the Annual Summary Report so you can view your overall performance for 2019.
If you’re not sure how to interpret your data, contact HSC Energy Services – we’d be happy to help!
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