Understanding Your Electricity Bill
In Saskatchewan, electricity bills are separated into a few key sections
- Balance from previous bill
- Electricity billed for
- Electrical charges
- Surcharge and taxes
- Equalized payment plan (optional)
The balance from previous bill section shows the balance of your previous bill, how much you paid towards that bill, and the balance that you are currently carrying, either in the form of money owed or a credit (Saskpower indicates this with a “CR” after the amount of the credit).
The electricity billed for section shows the current meter reading, the previous meter reading, and the difference between the two—the amount of electricity for which you are being billed.
The electrical charges section indicates the basic monthly charge, as well as the cost of the electricity used (determined by multiplying together the amount of electricity used and the current cost of electricity per kWh.
The surcharge and taxes section shows the municipal surcharge tax and GST (which is 5% of your total electrical charge). For most customers, below this the total amount owed will be displayed
The equalized payment plan section is only displayed on the bills of customers who agree to pay a set amount towards their electricity bill each month. It shows the:
- Balance forward: The balance carried over from the previous bill
- Current installment amount: The previously negotiated set billing amount
- Actual use, current bill: The total cost of the electricity used during the current billing cycle
- Balance to be billed: The balance that will be carried forward to the next billing cycle, after adding the balance forward and what is owed for the current billing cycle, and subtracting the current installment amount.
After one year, customers on an equalized payment plan will receive a settle-up bill, which will call due any remaining unbilled electrical usage, or provide you with a credit for the next year. If you notice during the year that your carried balance is steadily increasingly, it’s strongly advised that you call SaskPower increase the amount you pay each month, to avoid a hefty settle-up bill at the end of the year.
Understanding Your Natural Gas Bill
In Saskatchewan, natural gas bills from SaskEnergy are broken down into four sections: basic monthly charge, delivery charge, gas supply, and municipal payments and taxes.
The basic monthly charge is a set fee that is assessed regardless of how much natural gas you use. This fee helps to pay for maintenance of service lines and meters, and covers the cost of meter reading and customer account administration.
The delivery charge covers the cost of storing, transporting, and distributing natural gas to your home or business. Thus, it is calculated based upon the amount of gas you used, as measured in either cubic meters or joules. This does not cover the actual cost of the gas itself, but merely the cost of getting the gas to you.
The gas supply service charge covers the cost of the natural gas you use, and as with the delivery charge, is calculated according to the amount of gas used. If you have a contract with natural gas retailer, your SaskEnergy bill will still include this charge, but will state “Gas Supplied by [Retailer Name].”
Municipal payments and taxes includes two government fees and a repayment:
- Municipal payments: SaskEnergy is required to pay a small percentage of their revenue to 109 urban municipalities. If you live in one of these municipalities, you will see this as a credit in your bill.
- Goods and Services Tax (GST): This is a 5% tax collected by SaskEnergy and paid to the federal government.
- Provincial Sales Tax (PST): Saskatchewan charges a provincial tax on natural gas, but exempts natural gas used for heating. Thus, this charge does not appear on the bills of many SaskEnergy customers.
The total amount of your bill will vary from month to month, depending on the weather and your personal usage, unless you have signed up for an equalized payment plant.
For those not on an equalized payment plan, SaskEnergy’s website has a useful Bill Calculator application. Select your customer type (residential, commercial small, or commercial large), enter the total cubic meters of natural gas you use in an average year, and press ‘go.’
The calculator will then estimate your monthly consumption and total bill month to month over the course of a year, based upon average customer billing data. The estimate includes the basic monthly charge, delivery charge, and gas supply service (but excludes taxes), making it very easy to get a sense of what to expect throughout the year.