Understanding Your Electricity Bill

Electricity billThe data and information found on your electricity bill may not be so easy to comprehend, but we’re here to help you decipher this bill so that you know exactly what you’re paying for.

Paying your bills is never an enjoyable experience, especially when you become lost in all the information found on those dreadful pages. Although your electricity bill may look intimidating and complicated at first glance, we can help explain and simplify this information to ease your anxiety. It’s important to understand the information on your bills so that you know exactly what you’re paying for and why you’re paying for it.

What Can be Found on Your Electricity Bill?

Electricity bills may differ in appearance depending on where you live, but all Ontario electricity bills contain the same information. Here is what you will find included on your bill:

Account number: Your retail energy provider or local utility company assigns each of their customers a unique account number which is used to identify each account in their system. When contacting your energy provider or utility company, you will need to provide them with this number as a form of identification.

Meter number: All electricity meters have their own unique meter number. This number is used as identification by meter readers when documenting your electricity usage.

Statement Date: The statement date is when the bill was printed and sent to you.

Service Address: Your service address is the address the home or business that is being billed.

Amount Due: The amount due is the total amount that you owe your utility company or electricity provider for your electricity usage. This amount includes more than just the cost of electricity, but also additional charges, such as delivery charges, and regulatory fees.

Due Date: The due date is when the full payment is due. If the amount due is not paid in full by this date then your account will be subject to interest or late charges.

Billing Summary: The billing summary is a record of your electricity payment history.

Electricity Charges: This section of the bill looks at all of the charges which comprise the total amount you owe on your bill. We will explain what these charges are and what they mean in the “Electricity Bill Charges Explained” section found below.

Delivery Charges: The delivery charges section of the bill is comprised of the charges associated with delivering the electricity to your household or business. This section will include an adjustment factor which adjusts for the loss of electricity which occurs during transmission.

Debt Retirement Charge: The debt retirement charge is a charge of 0.7¢/kWh which pays for the debt accrued by Ontario Hydro in the years prior to the deregulation of the Ontario electricity market.

Regulatory Charges: Regulatory charges pay for the operation of a number of organizations that are essential to the operation of the Ontario energy market.

HST (Harmonized Sales Tax): The HST charge is a sales tax of 13% added to the total amount on your bill.

Electricity Bill Charges Explained

Getting electricity from the generation facility to your household or business is not a simple process. This process includes many moving parts which are all part of the Ontario energy system. Therefore, your electricity bill does not just include charges for the energy you used, but also charges for the other parts of the supply chain that are involved. You will find that there are five types of charges on your electricity bill. These five charges are:

Electricity Supply Charge: The charge is the amount that you pay for the electricity you used. If you use a retail electricity provider then you will be charged the rate specified in your contract with the company. If you’re with your local utility then you will pay the current regulated electricity rate.

Delivery Charges: These are the charges for the cost of transporting and distributing the electricity. The cost for delivery may be fixed or could change based on the volume of your electricity consumption. Delivery charges include fees for transmission, distribution, and a service charge. The delivery of electricity to your household is done by your local utility. This means that even for those who obtain their electricity from a retail electricity provider, you will still be billed by the local utility for delivery charges.

Debt Retirement Charge: Before the deregulation of the Ontario energy market, Ontario Hydro incurred a large sum of debt. As a result, on your electricity bill there is a 0.7¢/kWh charge which helps to pay off their debt.

Regulatory Fees: These fees pay for the operation of organizations that are essential to the energy system. The Wholesale Market Service Charge is what pays for the operation of the Independent Energy System Operation. The Independent Energy System Operator subsidizes the generation of renewable energy and manages the Ontario energy market. There is also a Standard Supply Service Charge which pays for the administrative costs of the utility company.

Harmonized Sales Tax: Your electricity bill will have a 13% harmonized sales tax added to the total amount due.

We hope that this guide has helped you to become familiar with the information found on your electricity bill. Now that you know about the various charges found on your bill, you can better understand exactly what you’re paying for each month.

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