PowerStream Program Provides Help to Low-Income Customers
VAUGHAN, Ontario, Jan 22, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE via COMTEX) --
Working with social service agencies in York Region and Simcoe County, PowerStream is continuing to provide comprehensive emergency financial assistance to help eligible low-income customers facing challenges in paying their electricity bills.
The Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) is a province-wide initiative offered by electric and gas utilities that is regulated by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). This program is delivered through designated social services agencies within PowerStream's territory and provides a one-time annual payment of up to $500 in funding towards a customer's electricity bill payment. Those with homes heated by electricity may be eligible for up to $600 in funding.
The designated intake social service agencies within PowerStream's service territory are the Housing Helps Centre & ID Clinic for customers in York Region and the United Way of Greater Simcoe County for PowerStream customers in Barrie and Simcoe County. Applications are assessed based on OEB criteria, including a pre-tax income at, or below, Statistics Canada's Low-Income Cut-off (LICO) plus 15%.
"LEAP is an important program that provides a helping hand to assist low-income customers to keep their PowerStream accounts current," explains Frank Scarpitti, PowerStream's Board Chair and Mayor of the City of Markham.
"Customers in need of assistance should also be reminded of PowerStream's various conservation programs available through our Conservation and Demand Management (CDM) department," adds President and CEO Brian Bentz. "Our Customer Service representatives are also well trained in bill payment management and can provide additional information to help customers better manage their electricity costs."
LEAP funding is made available to low-income electricity consumers in Ontario who are experiencing difficulties keeping their hydro bills current. Offered on a year-round basis or until the available funds are exhausted, LEAP is intended to supplement other existing financial support programs.
Customers must directly contact the designated agencies to apply for LEAP funding. PowerStream customers living in York Region can call either 905-508-1877 or 1-888-447-9602. Customers living in Barrie and Simcoe County should contact 1-855-487-5327. Each agency will review applications on a case-by-case basis to determine eligibility.
PowerStream is a community-owned energy solutions company, providing power and related services to more than 355,000 customers residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario. It is jointly owned by the Cities of Barrie, Markham and Vaughan.
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