What to do if you can't pay your energy bills

August 16, 2017
Utility bills are one of the biggest month-to-month expenses for many people. If you earn a low monthly income, these bills can be difficult to cover on a regular basis. Paying for electricity or other forms of energy is a high priority for most people because these things are very difficult to live without. In fact, most people would say that going without electricity is not really an option, so you have to pay these bills.
What to do if you can't pay your energy bills

But what if you do not have enough money to do so?

If you occasionally have trouble with your power bills...

If you occasionally need help paying your bills, perhaps the best option is to apply for an online personal loan. These loans are relatively easy to obtain. You just need to show a pay stub and bank account statement. The lender can usually approve the loan quickly and deposit the money into your bank.

This kind of loan can help if you are usually able to pay your utility bills, but some unforeseen extra expenses caused you to get behind. Or perhaps you were sick and were not able to earn your usual wages for the month.

If you are seriously behind on your utility payments...

Other options are available for people who struggle to pay their energy bills month after month or those who are hopelessly behind on their payments.

In Canada, one of the biggest programs is called LEAP. This stands for Low-income Energy Assistance Program.

The program gives a one-time payment to people who cannot afford to pay for their utility bills. It covers both electricity and natural gas. The payment is in the form of a grant, so you do not have to repay it.

LEAP is meant to be a safety net that can keep people from having their power shut off. In order to qualify, you must be behind on your energy bill, and you must meet maximum income requirements. According to the Ontario Energy Board, LEAP grants are meant for emergency situations when there are no other options and the home is in danger of having its power shut off.

Month to month aid

Province-level programs like the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) are meant to help people earlier on in the process so they do not have to get to the point where they need a LEAP grant. OESP covers part of the energy bill each month (it is listed as a credit on the invoice) so that the overall cost of energy is more affordable for low income Canadians.

So whether you have ongoing issues with covering your energy bills or you only occasionally have difficulty, there are viable options to save you from having your power turned off.