ARTICLES

CUSP Tracking Canadian Utility Bill Relief amid COVID19

CUSP is tracking Canadian utilities offering relief to customers during the coronavirus pandemic, including suspending disconnections, offering payment plans, grants and other assistance. UPDATED - 2:00 PM EST APRIL 02 Going province by province, starting from the west cost, and latest updates bolded. British Columbia: BC Hydro offering bill payment grants and deferring bills FortisBC has waived late payment fees and has "pledged to ensure that no customer is disconnected from the energy they need for financial reasons" (Updated March 19) BC Hydro will offer three months of bill credit for residential customers (application form opens April 06) and three month holiday for small businesses (application form opens April 13) (Updated April 02) Alberta: ENMAX offering customers payment flexibility via date extensions, payment plans and suspending collections and disconnections EPCOR defers payment by 90 days for customers experiencing difficulties paying bills, no additional late fees and suspends disconnections. (Updated March 19) City of Calgary is deferring utility payments for April, May June. The city will still send out water, wastewater, sewer, waste, recycling and composting bills in April, May and June — but people can choose to pay just part of it or none at all. The amount they don’t pay will be spread across their utility bills for the last six months of the year, without penalty or accrual of interest. (Updated April 02) Province of Alberta order allows residential, farm and small commercial customers to defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days, regardless of the service provider. Government and the Alberta Utilities Commission will work with utility companies to develop approaches for repayments that will help consumers pay back their deferred utilities within a reasonable time period. (Updated April 02) Saskatchewan: SaskPower won’t be disconnecting residential customers for non-payment; have stopped all active collections and are offering flexible payment arrangements.(Updated March 19) Saskatoon Light and Power is suspending disconnections and late payment charges till September 30, offering flexible payment plans (Updated March 19) Saskatchewan government offers a crown utility interest deferral program waving interest on late bill payments for up to six months available to all crown utility customers. (Updated April 02) Manitoba: Manitoba Hydro has suspended all service disconnections until further notice; offers flexible payment plans + referrals to community supports. (Updated March 19) Ontario: All Ontario electric and gas utilities have suspended disconnections following discussions with provincial Ministry Hydro One has set up a pandemic relief fund - offering financial assistance and payment flexibility Alectra Utilities will "work with customers to provide flexible payment terms and will not disconnect customers during this time of uncertainty." Toronto Hydro "has programs in place to assist those experiencing financial hardship; will be extending the current suspension of electricity disconnections" Hydro Ottawa has extended winter disconnection moratorium till end of July; suspended collections; offers flexible payment plans for outstanding arrears Sudbury Hydro will not be disconnecting residential or small businesses, will work with customers unable to pay bills. (Updated March 19) Province of Ontario holds 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 [...]