Your Electricity Bill
Explanation of Charges
Below is a sample electricity bill for households and small businesses on time-of-use (TOU) pricing and a description of each charge.
If you have a contract with an energy retailer or are thinking about signing with one, your bill might look a little different. View a sample bill.
Use our bill calculator to compare your utility bill with one you would see if you sign a contract with a retailer.
The OEB is also looking at ways to make items on your bill, such as the Delivery line and Electricity line, more understandable and meaningful. Improving Your Electricity Bill
This is the cost for the electricity you used during the billing period. Most Ontario consumers pay time-of-use (TOU) prices. TOU prices are set by the OEB based how much we expect it to cost to supply electricity to all households and small businesses you over the next 12 months. Prices are designed to recover the payments made to the electricity generators that produce the power (including market costs and the Global Adjustment). Utilities are not allowed to make a profit on the electricity they buy for their customers.
We review the prices twice a year, on May 1st and Nov 1st, and adjust them if necessary.
This is the cost of delivering electricity from generating stations across the province to your home or business through high voltage (transmission) and low voltage (distribution) power lines.
Delivery charges are approved by the OEB. Some of these are fixed at a set amount per month. Others are variable and increase or decrease depending on how much electricity you use. Delivery charges include:
- Customer Service Charge: A fixed charge for costs relating to meter reading, billing, customer service and account maintenance, and general utility operations.
- Distribution Charge: A variable charge for costs of building and maintaining the distribution system, including overhead and underground power lines, poles, and transformer stations. View utility electricity distribution rate applications and decisions.
- Transmission Charge: A variable charge for the costs of transmitters to operate and maintain the high-voltage transmission system that carries electricity from generating stations to your utility.
When electricity is delivered over a power line, it is normal for a small amount of power to be consumed, or lost, as heat. In calculating your electricity costs for the billing period, your utility multiplies your electricity cost by an OEB-approved adjustment factor that accounts for those losses.
1. The Wholesale Market Service Charge covers services provided by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to operate the wholesale electricity market and maintain the reliability of the high voltage power grid. It also covers certain costs incurred by local utilities to connect renewable generation (such as wind and solar power). Although the Wholesale Market Service Charge is set by the OEB to allow these costs to be passed on to consumers, we do not set all of the costs that are recovered through that charge. Below are the charges we approve.
Included within this charge:
- Physical Limitations and Losses: When electricity is delivered over a transmission line, it is normal for a small amount of power to be consumed, or lost, as heat. Also covered are other costs incurred by the IESO to operate the high voltage power grid.
- Energy Reliability: Sometimes the balance between generation and demand is affected by an unexpected event, such as equipment failure or a surge in consumption. The IESO buys reserve electricity that is available on short notice to restore the balance.
- IESO Administration Fee: The IESO charges an administrative fee to manage the high voltage power system and operate the wholesale electricity market in Ontario. Every year the OEB sets the fee that the IESO can charge.
- OPA Administration Fee: This fee pays the administration costs of the Ontario Power Authority (OPA)*, whose mandate includes planning for electricity generation, demand management, conservation and transmission in the province. Every year, the OEB sets this fee. It does not include the costs payable under contract for electricity generation supply or for OPA conservation and demand management programs. (*Note: The Ontario Power Authority merged with the Independent Electricity System Operator on January 1, 2015.)
- Rural and Remote Electricity Rate Protection: It helps offset the higher cost of providing service to consumers in those areas. The OEB calculates this charge every year according to rules set by the government.
- Renewable Connections: Utilities can recover some costs for connecting renewable generation facilities, subject to OEB approval
2. The Standard Supply Service Charge covers part of a utility’s administrative costs to provide electricity to customers that buy their power from the utility (i.e. customers that are not served by a retailer). This charge, set by the OEB, is the same for all utilities across the province.
Debt Retirement Charge (DRC)
This 0.7¢/kWh charge is set by the Ontario Ministry of Finance to pay down the remaining debt of the former Ontario Hydro. The government announced its plans to remove the DRC cost from residential electricity bills after December 31, 2015.
Ontario Clean Energy Benefit (OCEB)
The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit takes 10% off your electricity cost - up to 3,000 kWh/month of electricity use. Some exceptions apply. For more information, visit Ontario.ca/OCEB or call 1-888-668-4636. To learn more about how Ontario is building a strong, clean electricity system, visit Ontario.ca/energyplan. The OCEB will be ending on December 31, 2015.
Your power utility measures your electricity use in kilowatt hours, abbreviated as kWh. One kilowatt hour is the same thing as using 1,000 watts of electricity for one hour. So if you run 10 100-watt light bulbs for one hour, you’ve used 1 kWh of electricity.
You could burn a 60-watt bulb for nearly 17 hours to consume the same amount of energy.
Consider replacing that same 60-watt bulb with a 15-watt compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb. The 15-watt CFL bulb produces roughly the same brightness but uses one-quarter the electricity. And it will take 67 hours to consume the same amount of electricity.
Customer Service Rules for Electricity Help for Low-Income Consumers (LEAP) Electricity Prices Time-of-use Holiday Schedule How Electricity Prices are Set Video: How are Delivery Rates Set?
Page last updated 2015-06-29