As you start to receive your electricity and natural gas bill for the winter months, you might see noticeable increases. Here are five most common reasons for rising utility bills this winter.
1. Consumption increase
The cold weather during the winter season typically contribute to higher usage (above January average of 18 GJs and 689 kWh) as people spend more time indoors. Extended extreme cold weather periods experienced in 2021 may cause an increased consumption charge on your bill.
2. Transmission and distribution charges
Distributor’s costs for transmission and delivery of energy to your home have both a fixed and variable component, based on usage, and are presently the largest portion of your bill. In the winter, these charges can be approximately 65% of the total cost of the bill. These rates are calculated by the distributor and are the same regardless of the plan you are on or the retailer you are with.
3. Federal Carbon Tax
This winter, the federal carbon tax being charged by the Federal government is $1.576/GJ, which is higher than last winter. This federal fuel charge is included as a separate line item in the delivery charges section of your natural gas bill.
4. Energy prices increase
Natural gas and electricity Regulated Rate Option (RRO) and competitive variable prices can change from month to month due to weather, supply and demand.
5. COVID 19 effect
Many people have experienced the extreme effects of COVID 19 over the last year. Due to health restriction guidelines, they spend more time at home than they have in the past, working and doing schooling remotely. For households, this means higher electricity, natural gas and water bills. For many businesses, revenues are down, so utility costs are a much bigger concern than previously.
Questions or Concerns?
If you have questions specifically about retail charges and your natural gas usage, please contact your retailer directly.
If you have specific questions or concerns about transmission and distribution charges, please contact the distributor directly or the Utilities Consumer Advocate (UCA) at 310-4822 .