Saving Money · Uncategorized

My Hydro Company (I want to Break Up with You!)

In my quest to save on our energy cost, we have done a pretty intense energy inventory and have changed our way of consuming. So far we have switched to low flow shower heads, made sure we use energy when it’s at its lowest and even stopped using the dryer altogether. We have been using alternate washing methods and a spinner dryer. Using fans as opposed to a/c in the windows and so far it’s been work and a few sacrifices, but we figured that the savings in our pockets would more than make up for it.
I have to say seeing the decreasing hydro bills from month to month and even comparing them to last year has been a happy journey. Kind of makes it all worth the effort….UNTIL…
Yes, there is always an until with a utility company. I was staring at our bill and of course you may or may not be aware that you get charged a delivery charge for anything that you use with gas or electric. But as the months continued, I figured that the amounts would lower as my consumption lowered. The last month I got the lowest utility bill I’ve ever received, but the delivery charge seemed high. So I found an email address and wrote the power company.
“Hi there,
I would like to know why my delivery charges are so much higher than my actual usage charge. My actual used was 56.69 and after you guys put your delivery and regulatory charges of 81.52 (24.83 over the amount I used) to the bill plus debt retirement (that gets charged taxes on?) and the HST. I ended up with a bill of 160.49.
I would understand if you charged me the amount of what I used and a few dollars more for loss of heat or whatever the regulatory charges mean to you. Although there is no need for heat in the summer, but whatever, we’ll leave it at that for now.
Someone told me it was because I was in a rural area; I still think this is extremely excessive for the little amount I used in a month of hydro.
We are trying to be very careful with our usage, it’s ridiculous to be so careful yet still have to pay this excessive bill.
I would like an explanation and one better than just “well that’s because you are in a rural area”. I would like to know how they come up with these amounts and the calculations.
Thanks.”

Although I wasn’t expecting anything earth shattering or really anything that would help my situation. I did receive an email with a response that made me realize just how this company has a monopoly on our area. I realized that these people don’t charge on scale of what you use to delivery. They charge a flat rate and mine is the highest because I am in a Residential Low Density Area (in other words, she did tell me that my price was higher because I was in a rural area…HA!) Yes, we live in the country, however, the lines have been there forever and there are other people in this town, and I am on the main road ( I mean literally, look outside the window and see the road), so it’s not as if I live in the woods. I guess because I live between two towns they have the need to call me out in the middle of nowhere. Nonetheless, I received an eye opening experience, and that was that no matter how many lights I turn out or things I do to save. I will always get a monthly $80 bill courtesy of my power company. I used $56 dollars this month and for that they charged me more than 3 times that to receive power between delivery and taxes.
This is how the lady broke it down in an email.

“Our customer classifications are broken down into three density categories: Urban Density is for a community which has at least 3,000 customers and has a line density of at least 60 customers per kilometre. Medium Density communities have at least 100 customers with a line density of at least 15 customers per kilometre. Low Density covers all areas that do not fall into the Urban or Medium density criteria.

In order to determine your rate classification, we first classify you by type of customer – for example Residential, Seasonal, Farm or Business. Then we confirm the location of your home (or cottage, farm or business), and compare it with the number of customers who are near you and the power lines and other equipment that deliver power to you. We count the number of electricity customers within your community or area, and length of power lines serving that area. We then follow our criteria for Urban, Medium or Low density to finalize your rate classification.

Residential Low Density
Distribution Flat Charge – $72.92 per month
Rural Rate Protection Credit ($/month) $ 31.50
Smart Metering Entity Charge ($ .79/month) $ .79
Distribution Volume Charge – ($ .0425 multiplied by metered usage in kWh)
Transmission Connection Charge – ($ .0045 multiplied by adjusted usage in kWh)
Transmission Network Charge – ($.0063 multiplied by adjusted usage in kWh)”
So, ultimately, this being completely unfair and an abuse of our dollars, my partner and I are going back to the drawing board in possibly finding a way to generate our own power. When you get charged 3 times the cost of what you are using, investing in a solar or wind system could possibly pay itself back in record time. After that we could enjoy receiving free energy, no longer at the mercy of the utility company or even a time of day (our utility company has actually been found guilty in the past of lining their pockets  and obviously still does at our expense, see “debt retirement charge” that we have been paying for years now).
Now that such technology such as Tesla Walls are coming our way, there are more and more alternate sources that can be used for power and stored. More cost effective ways of doing things without having to give us even half as much as we have to reduce cost such as time of days and such.
I know you have to be careful, but my family and I are so conscious of our consumption, we would actually be gaining back some by using solar. Crazy, right!

I had spoken to my mother who lives in Texas and we loosely compared our bills. She practically lives on a mountain by herself and her power bill is about $100 a month and they have a/c or heat on all the time because of the cold/hot weather in Texas and fans and a tv going all night and two bathrooms etc.. Well anyways, you get the point.
This all to say, have you looked at your utility bill lately? Have you compared your amounts with different areas? Do you know what you are paying and why? Are there alternate situations for you to save money? Is it time to go with an alternative way of doing things?

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