How We Cut Our Hydro Bill By 41 Percent
During 2017, two of our most popular articles, on Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs, dealt with our personal electricity bills. Barry and I have not hidden the fact that we live on an annual income below the poverty line. In fact the 60th percentile based on 2016 figures place that number for our region at $81,100. Our gross and net taxable income for 2016 was $12,728 and for the recently completed 2017 year, it is looking to be $15,509.
As you can see, we know financial struggles. Big difference between $81,100 and our combined annual income of $15,509.
So, let us share with you so you can be EMPOWERED towards a HOPE and a FUTURE too.
We are going to share with you how our 2016 electricity bills dropped from $914.85 to only $535.84 for the entire 2017 year. That is a 41% decrease!
Have You Heard Of OESP?
The Ontario Electricity Support Plan (OESP) has been the biggest key factor in this reduction. If you are not familiar with it, it is a bill reduction program being made available to all low-income Ontarians. It is a graduated system depending on a variety of factors to assist you with qualifying:
- total combined family incomes—higher levels for larger families
- number of people living in the home
- primary electric heat source gets higher assistance
- using medical devices such as oxygen machines, kidney dialysis, and others may get higher deductions
- are you Indigenous, Inuit, or even Metis? You may also qualify for higher deductions
- additional deductions are applied to those in more rural locations to assist with delivery charges
As you can see, there are many ways that you and your family may qualify for this program. To do the quick method calculation to see if you should also apply, please go to this link: Quick Calculation for OESP Qualification. Have on hand your most recent annual combined taxable income numbers. As the 2017 income tax year has not yet been submitted (April 30, 2018), use your 2016 tax numbers.
If the calculation says you could qualify, then don’t delay—do it! Apply!
Will It Really Make A Difference?
Yes, absolutely it can make a huge difference in your budget!
If you qualify, it is in your best interest to complete the application process. Once approved, the rate reductions will appear automatically on your utility bill. Imagine your surprise when you get your first such bill. For Barry and I, our current electricity bills are averaging $25/month since the most recent reductions that were applied within the last 6 months. This means that our electricity bills for the 2018 year could total even less—possibly between $300-$400 over the next 12 months.
And when you start having even just this one utility bill reduced, it spells freedom! You will have additional monthly money to be able to apply towards your other debts or even buy better groceries.
The choice will be yours what to do with the extra money—but my advice, use it to better your financial situation even more. Step one—address another bill. That is what Barry and I are doing—trying to deal with other bills.
So—will it really make a difference? YES!
Our Last 4 Years
Just to further demonstrate how this Ontario Electricity Support Plan can make a difference, let’s look at our personal last 4 years.
We paid the following annual amounts for electricity for the years 2014-2017.
- in 2015–$1014.98 We also placed our application in for the OESP in the fall of 2015.
- OESP took effect January 1, 2016—without the deductions we would have had to pay $1,312—however, by being approved for the OESP program our annual electricity charges were only $914.85. This is a savings of $407/year
- 2017 total electricity charges were $535.84
Your family depending on a number of various factors could start receiving a reduction as low as $45/month off of your electricity bills to possibly as high as $113/month. Factor in the additional $60/month delivery charge relief if you live in a rural community—why are you waiting?
Sign Up For OESP
Once again, don’t hold off applying any longer if you qualify. This is your money—take it back. Be EMPOWERED towards a HOPE and a FUTURE.
Here are those links again for you–
Still looking for more information? Then check out our article on the Ontario Fair Hydro Plan too.
What are you waiting for? It takes about 6-8 weeks to process your application—so the sooner you apply the better.