How to read your electricity bill

We want to make sure your electricity bill is clear and makes sense to you. Since there’s more to your bill than the amount due, we’ve created a sample bill below that explains the different items that could appear on your residential or commercial bill. 

1. Billing date

  • Billing date is the date your bill was issued. Transactions after this date will appear on your next bill.
  • Billing period is the period of time in which charges are billed to your account.

2. Payment information

  • Previous statement is amount owing on your last bill.
  • Payment received is the last payment amount we received from you.
  • Balance outstanding is the amount owing, if any, from your previous bill and any payments or adjustments since we issued your last bill.

3. Current electric charges

Residential bills:

  • Bi-monthly Residential Conservation Rate is a two block rate structure designed by the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) and FortisBC. As of July 1, 2019, the first 1,600 kilowatt hours (kWh) you use bimonthly are charged at a lower rate of 10.394 cents. Your electricity use above this amount is billed at 14.915 cents. This rate is gradually moving towards a single flat rate, expected by 2023.
  • Rate period is the period of time (number of days) which you are being charged for.
  • Basic customer charge pays for your meter, equipment maintenance and billing. It’s a fixed charge, meaning it’s the same on every bill and not based on how much electricity you use. The basic customer charge is $16.58 per month (or $33.16 for a 60-day billing period).
  • Energy used Block 1 is the actual amount of electricity you use in a given period and reflects the first 1,600 kWh charged at a lower rate.
  • Energy used Block 2 is the actual amount of electricity you use in a given period over the first 1,600 kWh you’ve used. It is billed at a higher rate. 

Commercial bills:

  • Commercial Service rates: there are two different rates for commercial customers. The Small Commercial Service rate is for customers whose electricity demand is generally not more than 40 kW, which can be supplied through one meter. The Commercial Service rate is for customers whose electricity demand is generally greater than 40 kW but less than 500 kW, which can be supplied through one meter.
  • Rate period is the period of time (number of days) which you are being charged for.
  • Basic customer charge pays for your meter, equipment maintenance and billing. It’s a fixed charge, meaning it’s the same every bill and not based on how much electricity you use.
  • Energy used Block 1 is the actual amount of electricity you use in a given period and reflects the first 8,000 kWh charged.
  • Energy used Block 2 is the actual amount of electricity you use in a given period over the first 8,000 kWh you’ve used.
  • Demand charge based on current reading/billed demand is related to the highest rate that electricity, measured in kilowatts, is used during the billing period. It is charged per kW on demand above 40 kW. 

4. Taxes

GST (Goods and Services Tax)
We collect GST on behalf of the federal government.

Municipal operating fee
An operating fee is a levy that FortisBC collects on behalf of some municipalities. This fee gets passed on to the district, municipality, city, town or village you live in. It may appear as a fee on monthly charges, excluding tax. When an operating fee is in place, the BCUC has approved the fee. It doesn’t result additional revenue for us. For questions about operating fees in your area, please contact your local government.

5. Total new charges

This is the amount of new charges for the current billing period. It does not include any outstanding balance on your account. 

6. Amount due/amount to be withdrawn 

This is the balance outstanding on your account from your last bill plus new charges. If you’ve signed up for the Equal Payment Plan, this is the payment amount.

7. Contact information 

We’re here to help if you have questions about your bill. Call us at 1-866-436-7847 or visit fortisbc.com

8. Bill at a glance 

This section shows you at a glance your:

  • account number
  • bill payment due date
  • total amount due for payment

9. Meter information 

This section identifies:

  • your meter number
  • your current meter reading, plus the previous reading used to calculate your bill
  • the number of days you’re being billed for

10. Electricity use 

This section shows you how much electricity you were billed for on an average daily basis. If available, you’ll also see a comparison to your electricity use the previous year in kWh/day. The date of your next meter reading is also shown.

Important: the average kWh usage/day amount you see on your bill is approximate and is not used for billing purposes.

11. Payment return slip 

This slip gives your account number, bill due date and total amount due. If you receive a paper bill and either mail your payment or pay in person at your financial institution, include the return slip. For more information on how you can pay your bill, visit Ways to pay your bill.

Missed a bill payment?

We realize that life happens and that sometimes you may not be able to pay your bill on time. Here is some useful information to know. (These definitions also appear on the back of your bill.)  

  • Overdue account? If your account is overdue and payment outstanding, you will incur a 1.5 per cent per month late payment charge (19.56 per cent per annum).
  • Disconnection of service? If we have not received payment for your previous bill, you will see an “Important notice” message printed on the front of your next bill. To avoid disconnection of service, you must pay the overdue balance immediately, and pay your current charges by the due date shown.

    If you’ve recently paid this overdue amount, let us know immediately.

    If your overdue amount remains unpaid and your service is disconnected, you must pay the total amount due, a security deposit and a reactivation charge to reconnect your service.
  • Moving? Contact us at least 48 hours before you change residence, and tell us when to close your account. You are responsible for all charges until you close the account at your old address. 

Estimated or pro-rated bills

Occasionally, we’re unable to secure a reading on the scheduled date. If this happens we will estimate your bill based on your past energy use. The next actual meter reading will adjust for any over or under estimate.

If the period between your meter readings is shorter or longer than usual (as is often the case when you connect a new service or disconnect your service) your bill will be pro-rated. Charges will be adjusted to reflect the length of the service period.

We’re here to help

Homes and businesses: 1-866-436-7847, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.