Understanding the Electric Bill


Here is a sample electric bill. For more detailed explanations, see the corresponding number in the list below this image.

  1. Member and Mailing Address: To the left you will find the responsible name(s) on the Utility account and the mailing address (this may be different than the actual service address).
  2. Payment Address: On the right is the Utility's mailing address for paying your electric bill (payment only address).
  3. Message Box: Look here for money saving ideas or special member events.
  4. Service Address: This is the address where the electric service is located.
  5. Customer Service Information: The Utility's office lobby hours are 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Our convenient, attended drive up window and Customer Service phone (555-555-5555) is available from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. To report any outages call: 555-555-5555 available 24x7. To call toll free dial 1-800-555-5555.
  6. Billing Summary: This section shows your previous bill's balance and any payments received up to the current bill's statement date. Any late charges (see #10), adjustments on your account and loans will appear here. The total amount due includes any sales tax and city fee if applicable (see #14.)
  7. Account Number: This is your Utility's account number. For faster service please refer to this account number when calling or e-mailing our office. If you receive service at more than one location, you will have a different account number for that location.
  8. Statement Date: This is the date of your monthly billing cycle and the date the bill is prepared.
  9. Total Amount Due: This is the amount that must be paid by the due date to avoid any late charges.
  10. Payment must be received by (date) to avoid Late Charges: A late payment charge of 1.5% (percent) on any unpaid balance over $10.00 (minimum late charge is $1.00) will be applied to the next monthly bill if payment is not received by the date specified on the current bill.
  11. Charge Information Message Area: If your account is on the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) program (automatic withdrawal of payment from checking or savings) a message will appear (as shown on bill display) monthly, stating the date of withdrawal. If your account is NOT on the EFT program and you have a previous balance, you will see the following message. 'Please give special attention to the previous balance on your bill. The due date specified below refers to current billing only.'
  12. Electric Service: This section shows information about your meter. It includes the meter serial number (e.g. L057813448), present and previousmeter reading and reading type (regular or estimated). Multiplier number is determined by the metering equipment installed for this account and used to determine amount of usage. Usage period shows the meter reading dates and number of days in this billing cycle. The rate schedule, listed below the meter number, is used to calculate your bill. The electricity the consumer/member uses is measured as follows:
    kW = The read demand times the meter multiplier.
    kWh and KVAR total usage is determined by taking the difference between the present reading and the previous reading times the meter multiplier.
  13. Charges:
    Fixed Charge
    - This fee helps defray those specific costs not associated with the amount of energy used. Examples include - cost of the meter, cost of reading the meter monthly, maintaining the account, etc.
    Energy Charge - This is the total amount of energy (kWh) used times the charge per kWh for the rate schedule assigned to this account.
    Demand Charge - Demand (kW) is the greatest 15-minute demand during the billing period, adjusted for 'Power Factor'. Demand is billed to the nearest 0.1 kilowatt. Please note that the read demand charge may be different than the billed demand charge if the 'Power Factor' is below 90%. *
    Reactive (kvarh) - Total amount of reactive power used during this billing period. This reading is used to determine the 'Power Factor'. The total is determined by taking the difference between the present reading and the previous reading times the meter multiplier.
    Power Factor (Pfact) - The member/consumer agrees to maintain as near unity power factor as practicable. Should such measurements indicate that the average power factor is less than 90 percent; the demand for billing purposes shall be the demand as recorded by the demand meter multiplied by 90 percent and divided by the percent power factor. *Pfact adjustments are part of the demand charge and are not shown here.
    Resource and Tax Adjustment (RTA) - The energy charge shall be adjusted for incremental changes in purchased power costs, incremental changes in the Utility's conservation tracker account balance, and incremental changes in real and personal property taxes above or below base costs. The year used for the annualized RTA will be January 1 through December 31. The RTA shall be reviewed after six months (June) and adjusted if necessary. The RTA shall be filed with Public Utilities Commission each year before implementation.
  14. Taxes and Fees:
    Franchise Fees
    - This is a city fee based on a percentage of the consumer/members' monthly billings. The percentage may vary from city to city. The Utility makes no profit from the collection and payment of these fees. This fee is a requirement of our franchise agreement with the city.
    Sales Tax - State tax rate set forth based on taxes as of January 1, 1991. The amount of any increase in existing or new taxes on the transmission, distribution, or sales of electricity allocable to sales hereunder, excluding real and personal property taxes already recovered through the RTA, shall be added to the above rate as appropriate.
  15. Energy Generation & Delivery Cost for your Rate Class: This table shows how much of the monthly bill is related to the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity by rate class.
  16. Comparison Chart: This chart compares the current month, previous month and same month a year ago account activity.
  17. Account Message Box: Look here for special messages about your account. These messages refer ONLY to your specific account. An example may be budget billing renewal month, or any messages about an adjustment performed on your account.

Links to Related Topics

Understanding Demand and Consumption
Analogies for Understanding the Electric Bill
How Demand Charged are Computed and Billed
Calculating Appliance Energy Use