Alectra Utilities (formerly Horizon Utilities) provides a number of programs to assist qualifying customers who are experiencing difficulties paying their energy bills.

Programs available for qualified customers are as follows:

  • Arrears Management Program
  • Low-income Energy Assistance Program
  • Utility Arrears Programs
  • Ontario Electricity Support Program.

Arrears Management Program

Alectra Utilities offers the Arrears Management Program (AMP), as prescribed by the Ontario Energy Board, to ensure that eligible residential customers have an alternative to an interruption of service.

AMP allows eligible customers to pay their outstanding electric arrears in installments over a period of time. Program participants are required to immediately pay a portion of their arrears as a down payment and a monthly payment plan is created to pay the remaining electric arrears. Any security deposit held is applied against the arrears, recalculated and re-billed over a six-month period if necessary, as per the Alectra Utilities Credit Policy for residential customers. Subsequent bills are not included in the payment plan and must be paid on time.

To learn more about AMP or to determine your eligibility, contact Customer Service at 905-522-9200 for Hamilton customers and 905-984-8961 for St. Catharines customers.

Low-income Energy Assistance Program

Residential customers at risk of disconnection may be eligible to receive "low-income" emergency financial assistance funding through the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP). Qualified LEAP customers may also request LEAP customer service options such as the waiver of a security deposit on an account. LEAP is funded by Alectra Utilities and administered by Hamilton Housing Help Centre, Neighbour to Neighbour Centre, and Community Care of St. Catharines.

In 2015, Alectra Utilities contributed more than $137,000 to LEAP. These funds provided year-round emergency financial assistance to low-income households in our communities.

How the fund works

Families and individuals needing financial assistance to pay their heating and electricity bills can determine their low-income eligibility through one of these local community agencies.

In Hamilton:

  • Hamilton Housing Help Centre: 905-526-8100
  • Neighbour to Neighbour Centre: 905-574-1334.

In St. Catharines:

  • Community Care of St. Catharines: 905-984-8955.

Eligible grant recipients include low-income households who are in arrears or at risk of going into arrears on their energy bills and have exhausted all other sources of financial support. After a successful application process, one-time funding will be credited directly to the applicant's utilities account.

Our Customer Service department can provide additional information about the program, and where applicable, direct customers to the appropriate agency. Hamilton customers can call 905-522-9200 and St. Catharines customers can call 905-984-8961.

Utility Arrears Programs

The cities of Hamilton and St. Catharines have Utility Arrears programs which provide financial support to low-income residents who are experiencing difficulties paying their energy bills and who are not on social assistance. For additional information about a Utilities Arrears program, please contact one of these agencies:

In Hamilton:

  • Hamilton Housing Help Centre: 905-526-8100

In St. Catharines:

  • Community Care of St. Catharines: 905-685-1349

Ontario Electricity Support Program

Low-income customers can apply to receive Ontario Electricity Support Program credits on their Alectra Utilities' electricity bill.

The Ontario Electricity Support Program is designed to assist low-income customers who are spending a disproportionate amount of their income on electricity costs. 

The value of the credit is dependent upon income, the number of people in the household, and special need factors such as electric heating; the use of electricity to power medical devices; and customers in First Nation or Metis communities. 

For more information about how to qualify, and to access the on-line qualification system, go to OntarioElectricitySupport.ca

If you are moving within Ontario and currently receive an Ontario Electricity Support Program credit on your electricity bill, you will need to reapply to receive the credit at your new address. Find our how to reapply  at OntarioElectricitySupport.ca or call 1-855-831-8151 (toll-free within Ontario). 

For local support to submit your Ontario Electricity Support Program:

In Hamilton

Neighbor2Neighbor: 905-574-1334
Hamilton Housing Help Centre: 905-526-8100 ext. 305

In St. Catharines

Community Care of St. Catharines and Thorold: 905-984-8955