Letter: Change to Electricity Prices

electricity prices

As many customers are aware, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) recently announced there will be an increase in the cost of electricity as of November 1, 2015. As a result of this price increase, customers across the province can expect their monthly electricity bills to increase by about $4. In this complex regulatory environment, PUC Distribution Inc. (PUC) is working with other local electric utilities to help customers understand where these increases are coming from, and what they are paying for, through their electricity bill.

As the Local Distribution Company (LDC) for Sault Ste. Marie, PUC acts as the billing agent for the city’s electricity system. Since the PUC logo appears on the bill, many customers understandably assume that PUC is in control of the entire bill. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Based on current electricity prices, the portion of the bill that PUC keeps or is in control of (i.e. the delivery charge) represents only about 18% of the total electric bill. The rest covers the cost of the electricity and services managed by other provincial agencies. In other words, 18₵ from every dollar collected from the electricity portion of the bill goes to PUC, the remaining 82₵ is passed on to other provincial agencies.

The 82% of the electricity bill (that PUC has no control over) is broken up as follows:

  • The cost of generating the electricity accounts for more than half of the bill (60%)
  • The cost of transmitting the generated electricity across the province represents about 5% of the bill
  • Regulating the system for reliability is another 4%
  • The debt retirement charge represents about 1 % of the bill. (this charge will be removed from residential bills starting 2016)
  • The remaining portion of the bill covers HST

PUC understands that more and more customers are struggling to pay their electricity bills, and we are working very hard to keep our portion of the electricity bill down. We are doing this by finding efficiencies in our operations, and providing tips and programs to help customers manage usage and costs. The unfortunate reality is, electricity bills will still vary from time-to-time based on the amount of electricity used and when it is used. As always, off-peak prices along with conservation and demand management programs offered by PUC remain a customer’s best options for managing their electricity costs.

For a more complete breakdown of the electricity bill, visit www.ssmpuc.com.


Giordan Zin
Supervisor, Customer Engagement
PUC Services Inc.


  1. You can show how you have sliced up the pie as much as you want. PUC enforces payment and collection. Stop trying to distance yourself because you only get a percentage of the cut for ripping off customers. Just because your only getting 18% doesn’t make you any less responsible for what’s happening to families in this community that cannot afford monthly PUC bills. What a spineless company. Instead of helping to find a solution and alleviate some of the hardship you have caused.. You try turn the focus on the other provincial agencies. Well, I guess that washes your hands clean doesn’t it? I have a similar story to share. Three crooks jumped a person in an alley. The victim had $100 in bills and change on them. One of the crooks took $50 and another crook took.$32 . The last crook took the last $18 dollars the victim had. Guess how many of these crooks were found guilty of the crime?

  2. Electricity companies are thieves, how can they justify the cost they pass into the consumer? At one time we were even paying extra for “sent retirement” I have lived in the same house for 24 years when I first moved in my PUC hill was $60.00 a month today it cost $280 minimum. How is that even possible even cost of living never went up that much!

  3. BTW. This time of use thing is just another way for them to rob us blind when there is so much excess electricity that they pretty much give it away to the US yet continue to double punish and gouge us for using it when it’s needed the most.
    ‘Maddening’ is a huge understatement.

  4. As if the cost of electricity isn’t far too high already.
    Seniors are having to choose between being able to eat or freeze throughout the winter months because of the insane cost of power to heat their homes (as the utilities continue to dump major amounts of excess power to the US for pennies on the dollar, and we continue to get gouged).
    Perhaps the new government could be of some help here but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

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