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Frequently Asked Questions- Home Heating Rebate

  1. How do I know if I am eligible for the rebate?
  2. If I am eligible, how much will I receive?
  3. How do I apply?
  4. Where can I get an application form?
  5. Why do both spouses have to sign the application?
  6. Where do I send my completed application form?
  7. How is my income verified?
  8. How long will it take to get my rebate?
  9. How will I know if I will receive my rebate by direct deposit or by cheque?
  10. How will government obtain my banking information from the Canada Revenue Agency?
  11. Why is my Home Heating Rebate being paid by direct deposit when I previously received a cheque?
  12. How can I be sure that my bank account information is kept confidential?
  13. Can I provide my bank account information directly to the Department of Finance to receive my Home Heating Rebate by direct deposit?
  14. Will I get my rebate before Christmas?
  15. How can I check to see when my application will be processed?
  16. Why do I have to provide an electricity or heating fuel invoice for any month from September 2013 to April 2014 with my application?
  17. If home heating fuel or electricity is included in my rent expense can that be claimed?
  18. My electricity or heating fuel invoice is in another person’s name and that other person moved to another province. Do I still qualify?
  19. I have several rental properties for which heat is included in the rent, do I qualify for a rebate for each of these properties?
  20. On what basis are the applications processed?
  21. Can an individual find out if their application has been received?
  22. Where can I get further information about the Home Heating Rebate Program?

1. How do I know if I am eligible for the rebate?

The Home Heating Rebate is available to residents of the province who directly incur costs to heat their home and whose adjusted family income was $40,000 or less, regardless of the primary source of heat. For most people, adjusted family income is the net income (Line 236 of the income tax return) of the applicant plus, if applicable, the net income of that applicant’s spouse or partner. If you had a child under the age of six in 2012, adjusted income does not include net Universal Child Care Benefit payments received. If you received income from a Registered Disability Savings Plan in 2012, your adjusted income does not include the net amount of payments received from that plan. Applicants should review the amount of their reported income on their 2012 income tax return filed earlier this year with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Only one rebate is available per household.

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2. If I am eligible, how much will I receive?

Eligible households are those who have an adjusted family income of $40,000 or less for the 2012 taxation year. Regardless of the type of energy source purchased to heat the home, individuals and families will be eligible to receive a rebate of $250, where adjusted family income is $35,000 or less. The rebate will be $500 for those living in Coastal Labrador communities. A partial rebate is available to households with adjusted family income for 2012 of more than $35,000 but $40,000 or less, with a minimum rebate of $100. An invoice for heating fuel, electricity and/or wood or wood products must be supplied.

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3. How do I apply?

Eligible individuals or families must apply for the rebate. Applicants must provide either an electricity or heating fuel invoice (depending on the primary source of heat) for any month from September 2013 to April 2014 in the name of the applicant or the applicant’s spouse. If wood or wood products are the primary source of heat, an electricity invoice as well as a copy of the cutting permit or a receipt/invoice for a purchase of wood or wood products must also be submitted. Only one person per household may apply for the rebate. The deadline for submitting applications is September 30, 2014. Most applications should be processed within 10 weeks of when they are received by the department. Only one rebate is available per household.

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4. Where can I get an application form?

Application forms are available through the Department of Finance and the Seniors’ Resource Centre in St. John’s, throughout the province at all Department of Advanced Education and Skills offices and Service NL centres as well as local newspapers. Applications can also be obtained online at the Department of Finance website (www.gov.nl.ca/fin/homeheating).

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5. Why do both spouses have to sign the application?

Since this program is based on adjusted family income, we need to verify both incomes to determine eligibility. Privacy laws require that we have a person’s expressed written consent in order to verify income.

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6. Where do I send my completed application form?

Applications must be sent to:

Home Heating Rebate
Department of Finance
Tax Administration Division
P.O. Box 6000, 32 Queensway
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL A2A 0B8

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7. How is my income verified?

The information on your application form will need to be verified by the Department of Finance. To do that, the CRA will be releasing information to the department to verify income. When you sign your application, you are giving authorization for the CRA to release this information to the department.

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8. How long will it take to get my rebate?

We expect to receive more than 70,000 applications. All applications have to be reviewed and income verified. It is not possible for the department to determine when you will get your rebate. However, we expect that most applications will be processed within 10 weeks from when they are received.

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9. How will I know if I will receive my rebate by direct deposit or by cheque?

If you currently receive either your personal income tax refund or GST/HST credit by direct deposit from the CRA, payment of your Home Heating Rebate will be by direct deposit into that same bank account. Otherwise, you will receive your payment by cheque.

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10. How will government obtain my banking information from the Canada Revenue Agency?

When you sign your application, you are giving the CRA permission to release your bank account information which they currently have on file for the direct deposit of your income tax refund and GST/HST credit to the department. This bank account information will be used to deposit your Home Heating Rebate directly into that same bank account. The Canada Revenue Agency will provide this information electronically to the department and all information will be kept confidential.

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11. Why is my Home Heating Rebate being paid by direct deposit when I previously received a cheque?

A direct deposit payment is less likely to be lost, stolen, or damaged than a cheque. As well, you will have access to your Home Heating Rebate earlier as funds for a direct deposit payment will be available in your account on the same day that we would have mailed your cheque.

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12. How can I be sure that my bank account information is kept confidential?

Bank account information released to the department by the CRA will only be used for the direct deposit of your Home Heating Rebate. This information will be kept confidential and handled as required by applicable privacy laws.

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13. Can I provide my bank account information directly to the Department of Finance to receive my Home Heating Rebate by direct deposit?

No, this is not possible at this time. The Department of Finance does not have the ability to accept bank account information directly from applicants to facilitate direct deposit for this year’s program. In order to ensure direct deposit of the Home Heating Rebate, applicants can contact the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 prior to submitting their rebate application to provide their banking information. Once the applicant has confirmed with CRA that their account has been updated, they can then apply for the Home Heating Rebate. If an applicant does not want to wait, they can apply for the Home Heating Rebate and they will receive a cheque this year.

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14. Will I get my rebate before Christmas?

This will depend on when your application is received by the department. It is possible that some people will get their rebate before Christmas. However, not all applications will be able to be processed and payments sent out by that time. With the program being announced early in the heating season, people should have their rebate during the heating season when they are coping with the high cost of heating their homes.

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15. How can I check to see when my application will be processed?

All applications are processed in the order received. Until processed, applications are stored by date received. The Department of Finance is unable to advise applicants when their application will be processed as it would take a lot of time to search for and find individual applications. This would delay processing time, and everyone would have to wait longer for their rebate.

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16. Why do I have to provide an electricity or heating fuel invoice for any month from September 2013 to April 2014 with my application?

Eligibility for the Home Heating Rebate requires that residents directly incur a cost to heat their home during the heating season. The department must have verifiable documents that show that a cost was incurred by the resident.

For homes heated with electricity, an electricity invoice is required. For homes heated with furnace oil, stove oil, or propane, an invoice showing the purchase of heating fuel is required. For homes heated with wood or wood products, an electricity invoice as well as a copy of the cutting permit and/or an invoice showing the purchase of wood or wood products is required. The heating season usually runs from September to April of a program year.

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17. If home heating fuel or electricity is included in my rent expense can that be claimed?

No, this is not eligible because the applicant or their spouse must have been invoiced directly for the purchase of electricity or heating fuel from September 2013 to April 2014.

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18. My electricity or heating fuel invoice is in another person’s name and that other person moved to another province. Do I still qualify?

The Home Heating Rebate program requires that a recent electricity or heating fuel invoice be provided in the name of the applicant, or the applicant’s spouse. Consequently, unless the invoice is in your name or your spouse’s name, you are not eligible.

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19. I have several rental properties for which heat is included in the rent, do I qualify for a rebate for each of these properties?

To qualify for the rebate, it must be your principal place of residence. A landlord cannot claim a rebate for each rental property. The rebate is not available for commercial properties.

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20. On what basis are the applications processed?

Applications are processed in order of date received.

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21. Can an individual find out if their application has been received?

No, due to the high volume of applications received we cannot send an acknowledgement letter to each applicant stating that their application has been received. If we were to undertake such a task it would delay the processing of applications and the issuance of payments.

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22. Where can I get further information about the Home Heating Rebate Program?

For further information on the Home Heating Rebate program, please contact the Department of Finance toll-free at 1-855-223-7432 or by e-mail at homeheatprogram@gov.nl.ca.

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