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.
Supervisor, Customer Engagement
PUC Services Inc.