See how we’re working together through the COVID-19 pandemic
As a part of your community, Westario Power takes pride in delivering the safe and reliable power you need while helping to protect the health and safety of our employees and the communities we serve during this unprecendented time.
The provincial government has designated utilities as an essential workplace, as a result, you may see our crews working in your community. Our crews will practise physical distancing whenever possible, however, due to the nature of this work, some situations require them to work closely as a team.
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, we all have a part to play in maintaining physical distancing while at work or completing service work in the field. Protecting those who perform this critical work is of the utmost importance – if you must approach a Westario Power representative in the field, please maintain a safe, physical distance of minimum two (2) metres.
Supporting our Customers
We understand there has already been a significant amount of disruption in the lives and livelihoods of electricity customers in our service territory, many resulting in financial hardships.
COVID-19 Recovery Rate for Time-of-Use customers
Starting June 1, 2020, electricity prices are changing for residential and small business customers as well as farms on TOU pricing under the Ontario Energy Board’s (OEB) Regulated Price Plan (RPP). The same fixed price of 12.8 ¢/kWh applies to all of the electricity that they use, no matter the time of day or the day of the week.
The new price was set by the government and applies automatically – no customer action is required. It will appear on the Electricity line of customers’ bills and is only for the electricity they use. It does not include other charges like delivery. The government announced that this pricing will be in effect until October 31, 2020.
On April 14, 2020, the OEB deferred summer RPP price setting and maintained the “Winter TOU” price periods.
Global Adjustment charges
The Ontario government is deferring a portion of Global Adjustment (GA) charges for Industrial and Commercial electricity consumers that do not participate in the Regulated Price Plan (RPP), starting from April 2020. The GA rate for smaller Industrial and Commercial consumers (i.e., Class B) has been set at $115 per megawatt-hour, which is roughly in line with the March 2020 value. Large Industrial and Commercial consumers (i.e., Class A) will receive the same percentage reduction in GA charges as Class B consumers. The government intends to keep this relief in place through the end of June 2020, subject to necessary extensions and approvals to implement this initiative.
Westario Power suspended electricity disconnections for all residential customers to July 31, 2020. This decision has also been extended to low-volume, small business customers as well. We recognize these customer groups are more vulnerable during these troubling times and we continue to support them as best we can. We encourage you to remain as current as possible with your payments to avoid building a large balance.
Please continue to stay in touch with our Customer Service Team by contacting a Representative at 1-866-978-2746 or email to email@example.com, should you require assistance.
COVID-19 Energy Assistance Programs (CEAP)
On June 1, 2020, the Government of Ontario confirmed that it is making $9 million available for CEAP, to support residential customers struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. Funds allocated to Westario Power total $21,451.79 – once funds are depleted, applications will no longer be processed.
CEAP provides a one time, on-bill credit to eligible residential electricity and natural gas customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. The program is being delivered directly by electricity distributors, gas distributors and unit sub-meter providers (USMP), further to rules laid out by the OEB.
Only complete submissions will be processed; in order of application. Submit your completed application by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP)
The OESP is an Ontario Energy Board (OEB) program that lowers electricity bills for lower-income households. The OESP provides a monthly credit to eligible customers based on household income and household size. The OESP credits are applied directly to eligible customers’ bills.
To qualify, you must be a customer of an electricity utility and have a total household income that falls below a certain limit, if so, you may qualify for a reduction on your electricity bill through the OESP. It’s also available to people living in homes that have sub-meters (apartments, condos, co-ops and trailers, for example) where each unit has an individual meter and the resident’s electricity bill comes from a company other than their utility. You must apply for this program – learn more and complete the application on the OESP website.
AffordAbility Fund Trust (AFT)
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, the AffordAbility Fund is implementing precautionary measures to help protect the safety of the community and our advisors. At this time, all in-home activities have been postponed until further notice.
If the cost of energy-saving upgrades is out of reach, Ontario’s new AffordAbility Fund is here for you.
Westario Power and your community services are working together to help you improve your home’s energy efficiency with free energy-saving upgrades, which can lower your home’s energy use and your electricity bill. AffordAbility Fund offers three levels of support to those looking to reduce their electricity bill.
- Level 1
- Home Energy Kit includes ENERGY STAR® light bulbs, power bars, night lights and more.
- Level 2
- A professional in-home assessment
- Energy-Saving Plan
- ENERGY STAR® appliances such as a refrigerator, window air conditioner and programmable thermostat
- Level 3
- Everything in level 2 plus:
- Attic and wall insulation
- ENERGY STAR® heat pump
- Everything in level 2 plus:
To apply, visit the AffordAbility Fund website.
Low-income Emergency Assistance Program (LEAP)
The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) is a year-round, province-wide emergency financial assistance developed by the Ontario Energy Board for low-income electricity customers who are experiencing difficulty paying their energy bills.
This program provides emergency relief in order to help customers manage their energy costs and avoid having their service disconnected. It is not intended to provide regular or ongoing bill payment assistance, but rather to ensure that in a crisis, low-income families stay connected. Eligible consumers can receive a one-time payment of up to $500 per household, per calendar year, which is credited directly to their electricity bill. Eligibility includes a pre-tax income at or below Statistics Canada’s Low-Income Cut-off (LICO) plus 15%.
To apply for LEAP Emergency Financial Assistance call County of Bruce Housing Division at 1-800-265-3022 or 519-396-3439.
Protecting our Employees
Safety for our customers and employees is at the forefront of our corporate values. We are following the direction of health authorities to ensure that our practices are aligned with the latest recommendations and we have put protocols in place to minimize the risk for our employees and the public. In response to recent developments with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to close our office to the public.
A representative will be available to assist customers by telephone or email, Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays) between the hours of 8:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Powering Your Community
Our Operations Team continues to respond to power outages and other electrical emergencies. Technicians will continue to complete service orders – such as new service connections and requested disconnections.
We ask the public to practice safe physical distancing measures (minimum 2 metres), should they be required to speak with one of our Team members.
Thank you for your understanding as we continue to work together to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees and the public.
Your Local Electricity Distribution Company
Westario Power Inc. is responsible for the delivery of electricity to homes and businesses within our service territory. We take our responsibility to maintain a reliable electricity distribution system for the benefit of all customers very seriously; this includes maintaining overhead wires, underground cables, poles, transformers and the infrastructure needed to operate the electricity network in our service territory. We do not generate, transmit, or retail electricity. Our delivery rates reflect the cost of service to deliver electricity to our customers.
The major components of your electricity bill consist of Electricity, Delivery and Regulatory Charges. Some of these line items have more than one component. These charges are consistent across all areas within the Westario Power service territory and most, but not all charges are based on your electricity usage.
Visit the Ontario Energy Board to learn more about your bill and what each item means.
Account Set-Up Charge
An “Account Set-Up” charge of $30.00 + HST is applied to all customers on their first bill when they establish a new account. This applies both to new customers to the Westario Power service area and to customers who have changed locations within the Westario Power service area. If a tenant moves out and the bill is placed back in the owner’s name during the vacant period, the Account Set-Up Charge will apply unless a Landlord Agreement has been established and Option 1 has been selected (click on “Forms & Applications” tab for more details).
The utility will make every effort to ensure bills are accurate; however, billing errors can occur. The utility reserves the right to collect under-billed amounts at any time.
Security Deposit Requirements
The Distribution System Code, Section 2.4.9 provides Local Distribution Companies (LDC) the right to require a security deposit from all homeowners/tenants/commercial entities. A distributor may use any risk mitigation options available to manage customer non-payment risk. A distributor shall not discriminate among customers with similar risk profiles or risk related factors except where expressly permitted under the Distribution System Code.
Residential Security Deposits
Residential security deposits will be calculated using the billing cycle factor (2.5) times the customer’s average monthly load, at the location the customer is moving into, in the most recent 12 consecutive months within the last two years. Where relevant usage information is not available for the customer for 12 consecutive months within the past two years or the billing system is not capable of making the calculation, the customer’s average monthly load shall be based on a reasonable estimate made by the distributor. Deposits will be required only from those new customers who do not demonstrate reasonable credit worthiness, or from those existing customers who have proven poor credit. The distributor shall permit the customer to pay security deposit in 6 equal monthly instalments, the first instalment being due on the implementation of an implied contract or the signing of service agreement. The customer may pay the security deposit over a shorter period of time.
Interest will be credited to the customer account quarterly. The interest rate will be determined based on simple interest paid from the date of the deposit being received. Residential security deposits will be held until the customer no longer requires service, at which time, it will be applied to the customer’s final bill.
Return of the deposit will be considered annually providing the customer’s payment history reflects a one year history of prompt payments and is void of collection action. Deposits are added to the customers’ first bills. Any payment made is allocated first to the outstanding deposit amount required.
To promote electrical safety, Westario Power shall provide a Residential customer an isolation and re-energization, free-of-charge for doing non-electrical maintenance. This service applies only during regular business hours and conditions are such that an Electrical Safety Authority permit is not required.
Non-Electrical Maintenance includes activities within 3 meters/10 feet of the overhead power line or service mast, such as tree trimming, eaves trough installation and repair, painting, siding, brick pointing, roof work or other minor renovations and installing Christmas lights (this service does not apply to construction, demolition or other ‘project-like’ requests).
For more information or to arrange for an isolation and re-energization (disconnection and reconnection), please contact the Operations Team at Westario Power. In order to complete a request for a service isolation, a Temporary Service Disconnection form must be completed.
All other customer classes will be advised of the cost for this service.
Life Support Program
If your life, or the life of a loved one, depends on electrically powered medical equipment, please notify our office at (519) 507-6937 or toll free 1-866-978-2746. You will be asked to provide medical documentation as supporting evidence. It should be noted that anyone requiring such a device should ensure they have a battery back up available at all times. It is your responsibility to ensure you have a plan in place for electrical outages.
Your name and service address will be placed on our registry in cases of planned power outages.