*updated 7/6/2021 – 9:50 am
While the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) allowed Electricity Distribution Companies to resume collection practices as of June 2, 2021, including disconnection for nonpayment of accounts in 2020, Oshawa Power says it will continue to work with customers to access assistance available and enter into payment plans.
According to Oshawa Power, disconnection as a collection option has not been part of the company’s collection procedures since November 2019, and waived all late payment charges from April 2020 through May 2021.
With an increase in outstanding bills, Oshawa Power says they must resume regular collection practices, but will continue to work with customers to ensure past due balances can be paid with minimal hardship to the customer.
Oshawa Power says customers should use the assistance available and enter into a payment plan. Oshawa Power President and CEO Ivano Labricciosa says the company is ready to help any customers who are experiencing hardship.
“We want to assure customers that all efforts will be made to help them access funds that are available, while assisting with flexible payment options,” he says, noting disconnection will only be an option if all other avenues have been exhausted.
“We care about this community where we live along with our neighbours, family members, and friends,” he continues. “Oshawa residents have some of the lowest electricity distribution rates in Ontario and we want to ensure we can maintain these rates for all customers.”
There are many options available for customers who are finding their electricity bills to be a burden, including the Covid Electricity Assistance Program (CEAP) and CEAP – Small Business, which is funded by the province and administered by Oshawa Power; the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), funded by Oshawa Power and administered through a third party; the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) – a provincial program providing a monthly amount as an on-bill credit to those who quality; and the Arrears Management Program (AMP), which is offered and administered by Oshawa Power under OEB guidelines.
There is also the Equal Payment Plans, administered by Oshawa Power, and the Oshawa Power Compassion Fund, an industry first program, set up by Oshawa Power to assist those who do not qualify for existing programs.
“Working together, we can come to a solution to ensure a positive outcome for everyone,” he says.