How to Read Your Monthly Bill

Illustration of Monthly Bill StatementHow to Read Your Monthly Bill

Here is a sample electricity bill for households and small businesses on Time-of-Use (TOU) pricing along with a description of each charge. 

Electricity

This is the cost for the electricity you used during the billing period. Most Ontario consumers pay time-of-use (TOU) prices for the kilowatt hours they use.

TOU prices are set by the Ontario Energy Board and adjusted twice a year on November 1 and May 1.

Guelph Hydro does not make a profit on the sale of this electricity.

Delivery

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 Ontario Energy Board. 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. 
  • 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.

Line Loss Adjustment
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, Guelph Hydro multiplies your electricity cost by an Ontario Energy Board-approved adjustment factor that accounts for those losses.

Regulatory Charges

Wholesale Market Service Charge

The Wholesale Market Service Charge covers the cost of services provided by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to operate the wholesale electricity market in Ontario and maintain the reliability of the high voltage power grid. It also covers certain costs incurred by local utilities to connect renewable generation. Although the Wholesale Market Service Charge is set by the Ontario Energy Board to allow these costs to be passed on to consumers, the Ontario Energy board does not set or approve all the costs that are recovered through that charge. The description below notes which charges are approved by the Ontario Energy Board.

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.

Energy Reliability: Sometimes the balance between generation and demand is affected by an unanticipated event, such as equipment failure or a surge in consumption. The Independent Electricity System Operator purchases reserve electricity that is available on short notice to restore the balance.

Fees set or approved by the OEB:

IESO Administration Fee: The IESO charges an administrative fee to manage the high voltage power system and operate the wholesale electricity market in Ontario.

Administration Fee: This fee pays for administration costs related to planning for generation,

demand management, conservation and transmission in the province. This fee does not cover the contract payments made to generators or costs for the delivery of conservation and demand management programs

Rural and Remote Electricity Rate Protection: This charge is collected by the IESO to pay certain electricity distributors who provide electricity service in rural and remote areas. It helps to offset the higher cost of providing service to consumers in those areas.

Renewable Connections: Some of the costs incurred by a utility to connect renewable generation facilities (e.g. solar, wind) can be recovered from consumers throughout the province.

Standard Supply Service Charge

Customers who purchase electricity directly from their local utility, rather than a retailer, pay an administrative fee to their utility to cover these costs. This charge is the same for all utilities in the province and is set by the Ontario Energy Board.

Global Adjustment
The Global Adjustment is an adjustment for the difference between the rates paid to regulated and contracted generators and the market price. This will be either a credit or a charge depending on the prices for electricity in the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) spot market. Global Adjustment is applicable to large commercial consumers and consumers in an electricity retailer agreement.
Debt Retirement Charge
The Debt Retirement Charge was removed for certain residential consumption after Dec. 31, 2015. Learn more at Ontario.ca/DRC.
Provincial Rebate
Starting January 1, 2017, the Ontario government is providing a rebate on your electricity costs equal to the provincial portion of HST (8%). For more information read the Ontario government's news release.