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Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)

Our 2015 LEAP program is now open and we are accepting applications for grants.

The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) was developed by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) with input from electric and gas utilities, consumer associations and social service agencies. There are three components to the program to assist low-income customers:  

  1. Emergency financial assistance fund
  2. Targeted conservation programs
  3. More flexible customer service rules.

To see if you qualify as low income, please refer to the Low-Income Cut-off Table shown below. To apply for low-income status, please call our lead agency the United Way of Greater Simcoe County at 1-855-487-5327.

For more information on the LEAP program, visit the OEB’s website.

Emergency Financial Assistance Fund

Hydro One has partnered with United Way of Greater Simcoe County to be our lead agency.  The United Way of Greater Simcoe has in turn partnered with a number of social service agencies across the province, who will serve as intake agencies to meet with Hydro One customers and complete the LEAP fund application process.  

The United Way of Greater Simcoe will pre-screen customers to see if they meet the household low-income guidelines, and other eligibility criteria, including if the customer is in threat of disconnection for non-payment.


The United Way of Greater Simcoe will determine eligibility. To be eligible for a grant you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an existing residential customer of Hydro One
  • Reside at the address for which there are arrears on the electricity bill
  • Have a pre-tax household income* at or below the Statistics Canada Low-Income Cut-off + 15%.

Low-Income Cut-off Table

Family SizeCommunity Size
Rural AreasLess than 30,00030,000 to 99,999100,000 to 499,999500,000 and Over
1 person$18,721$21,298$23,276$23,421$27,194
2 persons$23,306$26,513$28,975$29,156$33,856
3 persons$28,651$32,594$35,622$35,843$41,622
4 persons$34,788$39,576$43,252$43,519$50,533
5 persons$39,454$44,886$49,054$49,358$57,315
6 persons$44,499$50,624$55,325$55,669$64,640
7+ persons$49,542$56,362$61,596$61,978$71,968
* All figures above are pre-tax family income.

Source: http://www.ontarioenergyboard.ca/OEB/Consumers/Consumer%20Protection/Help%20for%20Low-Income%20Energy%20Consumers  

In addition to the criteria above, the United Way of Greater Simcoe will also consider the following:

  • Are you in threat of disconnection?
  • Have you made prior attempts to pay bills and address your electricity account?
  • Would the receipt of financial assistant allow you to sustain your electricity service?


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Emergency Financial Assistance Fund?
It is a grant program intended to provide emergency relief to eligible low-income customers who may be experiencing difficulty paying current arrears.  It is not intended to provide regular or ongoing bill payment assistance.

How does the fund work?
Over 40 social service agencies will be able to assist Hydro One customers in their communities, who need help in paying their electricity bills. The agencies will help customers complete the application form. After successful completion of the application process, funding will be credited directly to the customers' Hydro One bill.

How do I know if I qualify?
Availability of funding is limited to Hydro One residential customers who meet the following conditions:

  • Have a pre-tax household income at or below the Statistics Canada Low-Income Cut-off + 15%
  • Have electricity bills that are currently in arrears
  • Are in threat of disconnection
  • Have made prior attempt to pay bills and address their electricity account.
  • Receipt of financial assistance will allow the customer to sustain electricity service.

Social service agencies will address these criteria during their discussion with customers and when completing the application.

How do I start the application process?
Our Lead Agency is United Way of Greater Simcoe County. Please call them at 1-855-487-5327 (1-855-its-leap) and an agency representative will guide you. The agency has the expertise and knowledge to assess individual needs and coordinate access to the most appropriate support programs.

How long does the program run?
The 2015 LEAP program is open and we are accepting applications for grants. The program will be available until the amount of the fund has been depleted.

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