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Ontario Sets New Prices, Programs and Incentives to Reduce Energy Costs in 2021

Ontario Electricity Rates, Rebates, and Assistance Programs

Staying home during the COVID-19 situation has proven to be a struggle for many reasons, for many people. And of those challenges, the masses are seeing increases in their utility consumption. In order to support Ontarians during this difficult time, the Government of Ontario has taken a number of steps to alleviate some of the stresses associated with utility costs amid this pandemic. Rate reductions are presently implemented, assistance programs have been improved in terms of amounts and eligibility, and energy efficiency incentives have been made available to residents and businesses.

Keep reading to learn more about these new prices, assistance programs, and incentives to help Ontario residents, small businesses, and various industries reduce energy costs and increase energy efficiency.


Updated Electricity Rates for Ontario Household and Small Businesses – Effective January 1st, 2021 – January 28th, 2021

On December 22nd, 2020,  the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) announced new electricity rates for households, small businesses, and farm customers to support Ontarians staying home during the COVID-19 situation. These changes will take place today, on January 1, 2021, and will end on January 28, 2021. After January 28th, electricity prices will revert to the below-mentioned electricity prices originally set by the OEB for January 1st, 2021. The government announced that electricity prices will be held at 8.5¢/KWh for electricity. This fixed price is equal to the off-peak price originally set by the OEB for January 1st, 2021. The fixed pricing will be applied automatically to both Time-of-Use (TOU) and Tiered pricing electricity consumers. Therefore, no matter what time of day you use your electricity, no matter your consumption, the fixed price will apply and no customer action is required. For more information please read the government’s news release or contact customer service.

While the OEB has yet to release information regarding what the electricity rates will be beyond January 28th, we do know that prior to the implementation of the 8.5¢/KWh fixed-rate, announcements were made indicating reductions in Time-Of-Use (TOU) and Tiered prices for Ontario electricity consumers. For TOU customers, these rates range from 8.5¢/KWh during off-peak hours, to 17.6¢/KWh during on-peak hours. All announcement regarding electricity rates related to COVID-19 is detailed here. 


Changes to the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Programs (CEAP) – Effective January 2021

On December 22nd, 2020 the government announced upcoming changes to the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) starting in January of 2021.  In order to make the one-time-credit more accessible for consumers struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 emergency, credit amounts will be increased and more families and businesses will be eligible to access funding for the CEAP. Residential consumers may be eligible for up to $750, and small businesses up to $1500,  in support of their electricity and natural gas bills. The OEB will be posting details as soon as they become available at which point, Priority will also make this information easily accessible on our website. Click here to find more programs to reduce your electricity bill.

Decreases in the Ontario Electricity Rate – Effective January 1st, 2021

Starting January 1st, 2021, the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER) has been reduced from 33.2% to 21.2%.

What’s the OER?

Prior to November 1, 2019, the OER was formally known as the 8% Provincial Rebate. Currently known as the Ontario Electricity Rebate, the OER is for the majority of households, farms, long-term care homes, and small businesses. The rebate was previously offered at 33.2% however, this rebate has been reduced to 21.2% effective in the New Year, 2021. Eligible consumers automatically receive the rebate

What’s Changing?

As a result of this new rebate, you will notice some changes on your bill. The electricity line on your bill will increase, the new Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER) will provide a high percentage rebate, and the average residential bill will increase in line with inflation. Previously, customers received a reduction on their bill that was built into the price of the electricity. By removing the built-in reduction and 8% rebate, you will be able to see the true cost of electricity on your bill and the full value of your Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER), if eligible.

Who is Eligible?

The OER is for most households, farms, long-term care homes, and small businesses. This rebate automatically received by eligible consumers. Click here for more information.


Additional Support Programs – Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) and Low-Income Energy Assistance Program


If you are an electricity customer of Priority and in a lower-income home, you may be eligible to receive a monthly credit on your bill. Eligibility and credit amounts are based on the number of people living in your home and combined household income. We have detailed additional information here.

In order to establish your eligibility for the program please visit this Self Assessment


The government also offers a one-time emergency payment of up to $500 of the amount owing on your electricity or natural gas bill. Qualification details are outlined here. For additional information please visit the OEB.


Save on Energy Programs – Launched January 4th, 2021

On January 4th a new Save on Energy program was launched that focuses on meeting the needs of electricity customers, and the electricity system. This available for those in need including opportunities for commercial, industrial, institutional, First Nations, and income-eligible consumers. Additional details regarding these programs can be found at saveonenergy.ca but we’ve broken down a few highlights below.

Businesses and Industry

Incentives and energy-efficient measures are offered to small businesses through a Retrofit program.

The Process and Systems program was discontinued on December 31st, 2020, and will be replaced with a new offering in 2022. Industrial consumers will also be eligible to participate in the upcoming IESO Energy Efficiency Auction Pilot set to launch in March 2021.

Enhancements have been made to the  Energy Performance program which will continue to be available for commercial and institutional facilities. Additionally, eligibility criteria has been broader in 2021 to include industrial consumers.

The  Energy Manager program focuses on building a highly skilled network of energy professionals, in numerous sectors, across Ontario. Companies interested in hiring an Energy Manager will have the opportunity to apply through an application window in 2021. Those who are approved will receive $20,000 upfront, annually as well as up to $150,000 upon hiring an Energy Manager.

First Nation Communities

To assist on-reserve First Nation Communities, the programs that were suspended in 2020 will be relaunched in January of 2021. Click here for information on how the program works, eligibility criteria, and how to apply.


There’s a new Energy Affordability program available to income-eligible electricity consumers. The expanded eligibility allows participants to qualify for an energy needs assessment to help identify energy-efficient upgrades. Participants may also qualify for a free, customized energy savings kit. to discuss eligibility and opportunities contact Save on Energy via phone or email.

Small Businesses

The Small Business Lighting program will continue to be available for the direct, no-cost replacement of existing inefficient equipment up to $2000. This program is on track to expand in mid-2021 to offer more opportunities for small businesses to reduce electricity costs and recover from the potential impacts of COVID-19.

Additional Resources and Opportunities

There are many additional resources and opportunities to save on energy in Ontario.

Local program opportunities will be deployed across Ontario beginning in 2021. Residential offerings such as resources on how to increase energy efficiency and better manage electricity costs have been made available. Training opportunities such as courses and workshops are available to professionals.


If you are concerned about being able to pay your bill, we are here to help you. Please contact Customer Service to see what options are available to you. You can do so through the following methods:

  • Chat with a Customer Service Representative online between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm ET. We have added more live chat users to help improve our response time during this period.
    • Email [email protected]
    • Our phone lines are open. Call 1.866.836.3837 x1 to speak with a Customer Service Representative between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm ET.