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.
Note: this is only a sample bill and may not reflect current electricity rates.
Signed up for paperless billing? It’s a good idea to check your spam or junk email folder once in while to ensure important emails, like your bill, doesn’t get missed.
1. Amount/payment due/amount to be withdrawn
This is the balance outstanding on your account from your last bill plus new charges. If the balance shown is a credit, you’ll also see a “Do not pay” alert on your bill.
2. Your account
This section includes your account number, the name your account is in and the address where you are receiving electricity service.
3. Billing dates
- Billing due date is the date your next payment is due.
- Billing period is the period of time covered by this bill. Customers can choose to be billed either monthly or bi-monthly.
- Billing date is the date your bill was issued. Transactions after this date will appear on your next bill.
4. Our contact information
We’re here to help. If you have questions about your bill, call us at 1-866-436-7847, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., or visit fortisbc.com.
5. Your electricity usage
This graph shows you at a glance if you’ve used more or less energy than usual. It shows how many kilowatt hours (kWhs) of electricity you’ve used over the billing period and compares it to what you used during the last billing period and the same time the last year. Knowing if you’ve used less, more or the same amount of electricity as other time periods can help you track your energy usage and make choices that could help lower your energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and save on your monthly bills.
What’s a kilowatt hour? A kWh, is a measure of the amount of energy (electricity) a specific appliance needs to run for one hour. For example, one kWh can light an LED lightbulb for 83 hours.1 You pay for the electricity you consume, measured in kilowatt hours.
6. Energy-saving tips/rebate offers
On every bill you’ll see either a set of energy-savings tips or information about our rebates on high-efficiency heating equipment and products. This information could help you lower your energy use and save money on your energy bills.
7. Payment return slip
This slip lists your account number, your GST 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, please include the return slip.
8. Your meter reading
This lists your meter number and how much electricity you’ve used over the billing period. It shows your current meter reading and subtracts your previous meter reading.
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 underestimate.
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.
9a. Your last bill
- Last bill is the amount due on your last bill.
- Payment received is the last payment amount we received from you.
- Balance from last bill shows the amount owing, if any, from your previous bill and any payments or adjustments since we issued your last bill.
9b. Customer charge
This charge pays for bringing service to your property. 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 $21.21 per month (or $42.42 for a 60-day billing period).
9c. Cost for energy usage
- Cost for energy usage is the actual amount of electricity you use in a given billing period.
9d. Other charges & taxes
Other charges and taxes you may see on your bill are set by various levels of government. We collect them on their behalf and don’t gain any revenue from these taxes and fees, which include:
- GST (Goods and Services Tax) we collect on behalf of the federal government.
- Municipal 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.
10. Electricity facts
On every bill you’ll see an interesting electricity fact that will help you understand what a kilowatt hour of electricity is equivalent to – like powering a laptop computer for 40 hours.2 You’ll also get a corresponding tip to help you reduce your energy use.
11. News to know
Most bills you’ll get some news from us that we hope you’ll find valuable. It could be information about a new rebate or a reminder about how to stay safe around our energy infrastructure.
12. Ways to pay your bill
Find out about the different ways to pay your bill including by credit card, cheque or through your financial institution.
Missing a bill payment?
Here’s some information to keep in mind:
- 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 - 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
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.
We’re here to help
We work one-on-one with customers year-round to help them manage their bills.
If you’re having trouble with payments, give us a call and we’ll work with you to find a solution that may include payment arrangements.
Homes and businesses: 1-866-436-7847, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
1One kWh can light a 12-watt LED lightbulb for 83 hours.
2One kWh can power an ENERGY STAR® laptop with 20” screen for 40 hours.