Electric heating relief

Policies and programs

Electric heating relief

​About 1,200 Toronto Community Housing residents who pay rent-geared-to-income (RGI) also pay for electric heating. Under commitments set out in the Getting it done report, Toronto Community Housing has partnered with Toronto Hydro to help residents who pay rent-geared-to-income (RGI) also pay part of their electric heating bills under the electric heating relief program.

The program covers electric heat paid during the heating season. The 2016–17 heating season started on September 15, 2016 and will go until June 1, 2017. Toronto Community Housing will spend approximately $1.2 million to help residents with their electric heating bills this season.


How do residents qualify for this relief?​​

You will receive relief payments if:

  • you pay rent-geared-to-income (RGI)

  • your home has electric heating

  • you pay your own hydro bill

RGI residents who pay electric heating bills don't have to apply for payments. Toronto Community Housing has already identified these households and has already started to issue payments directly to Toronto Hydro on behalf of those residents.


How will residents receive payments?​​

Toronto Community Housing is partnering with Toronto Hydro to apply credits directly to residents' hydro bills. The first round of electric heating credits will start to appear on the bills of residents in March 2017, as they were processed in February. Payments will be backdated to September 15, 2016 (the first day of the heating season).

A second payment will be processed in August and the third and final payment for the 2016–17 heating season will be processed in November. Depending on when a household's billing cycle occurs with Toronto Hydro, it can take up to two months for the payment to appear on their bill.


How is the relief payment calculated?​​

We have calculated each household's relief payment using information from Toronto Hydro and Toronto Community Housing on the average monthly hydro heating bill for a unit of the household's size (how many bedrooms the unit has).

There are two steps to calculate how much Toronto Community Housing will pay to a household's hydro bill:

  1. The average electricity usage for heating the unit is multiplied by the average electricity rate for Toronto Community Housing buildings. The result is the resident's estimated electricity heating bill.

  2. An amount called the P-Scale (which is the provincial utility charge that is deducted from the rent of households that pay for their own hydro) is subtracted from the estimated electricity heating bill. This final amount is your hydro relief payment.


Next steps​​

Residents who have qualified for the program will receive a letter in March 2017 with details specific to their household. This letter will cover the following information:

  • How the programs works

  • How the calculations for each payment are made

  • When the payments should appear on their bills

  • Information on additional support programs

​Additional resources under the Ontario Electricity Support Program​

The Toronto Community Housing electric heating relief program is separate from the new Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP). OESP is a program offered by the Ontario government (through the Ontario Energy Board) that lowers electricity bills for low-income households. If a household is approved for the program, the amount of the credit will depend on:

  • The number of people in the home

  • The total combined household income

​​​For information on OESP or to find out how you can apply for the program, go to the Ontario Electricity Support website or call 1-855-831-8151 toll-free from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.​