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Electricity Bill - Ontario

Discussion in 'Canada' started by e4chan, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. e4chan

    e4chan Member

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    Hello all,

    I've had my car for roughly 5 months now and received my Electricity Bill from Powerstream. So far my bill has increased roughly $125-150/month (since we receive our electricity bill every 2 months). What has others seen? I know there are a lot of factors, such as temperature and how much you use your car in a daily basis. When I initially did my calculation on the site, it should a rough estimate increate of $50 per month.

    I drive about 100 km per day - give or take 20km depending if I need to get grocery. When I did the calculation on the Tesla website using 8 cents kwH, it shows $1.65/day based on 100 km usage. Is there something wrong?

    Just wanted to hear what others think - meets expectations or above expectations with the electrical bill.

    P.S. I also set my timer to kick in at the lower electricity rate of 8 cent/kw (I believe).....starts charging at 3 am.



    Thanks,
    E4
     
  2. LazMan

    LazMan Member

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    That seems like a lot. The off peak time of use rate for Toronto Hydro starts at 7pm on weekdays and is 7.2c/kwh.

    If you drive 100km/day at rated (I usually get about 185 W/km in summer) then 193Wh x 100km = 19.3 kWh. Then factor in charging loss: 19.3 x 1.15 = 22.2. Of peak cost is 22.2 x 7.2cents = $1.60 per day. For the month that's $47.95.

    That's my guess.
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Your bill will be higher in winter due to pack heating etc., but that is a lot. Did you compare against last year's bill?
     
  4. Chris Naps

    Chris Naps Member

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    Where I am from they have different tiers for the amount of energy you use. For an example, if you use x amount of kW they will raise the price per kw, maybe they did that to you?
     
  5. e4chan

    e4chan Member

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    In short - Yes.

    My usually electricity bill before the care was about $300-330 (billed every 2 months).

    After the car, I receive 2 bills since and they have been $550 and recently $630. I don't have the bill on me. Should I get someone from Powersteam to check?

     
  6. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    It may be due to other factors, e.g. It was a cold winter so you probably used more energy for your house even if you don't have electric heat (some types of furnace fans can take a lot of power, for example). But yes, that sounds worth investigating.
     
  7. e4chan

    e4chan Member

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    Funny thing is, if I compare exactly a year ago (Bill cycle), it has been dramatically more. I just got an ear full from my wife about the cost :p....so any insight for those that live in the Markham/Toronto area would be greatly appreciated as well.

    As a side note - I just changed my furnace to high efficiency and removed my tank water heater to "tankless" (although that should only affect my gas).
     
  8. Duckjybe

    Duckjybe S P232

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    I think it is little known that the delivery charge on your electricity bill is actually almost fully usage based and not included in the time of use electricity rate. If I remember correctly, it adds about 4 cents/kwh to your usage rate. This is extremely misleading to the homeowner and needs to be better broken down on the bill.

    I am getting on average 250 wh/km and is more like 300 wh/km on short trips in the winter. When you factor all this including charging loss you get: 250 wh x100km x 1.15 x (.08+.04) / 1000 x 30 days = $103.5 best case

    But remember if you were paying for a gas car it would be costing around $400 to go the same distance (in a car that gets 10 L/100km). Saving lots!
     
  9. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Below is a quick spreadsheet I put together with my local utility's billing determinants so I can tell what my "all-in" price for electricity is. Note: this is the utility where I live, not the one I work for :smile:. Rates would be very close throughout southern Ontario.

    4-16-2014 1-50-46 PM.jpg

    From this, you can see my Off Peak rate is 11.8 cents per kWh.

    I have also been tracking my car's energy use via a dedicated meter. Over the last 7 months, I've averaged 326 Wh/km of consumption (0.326 kWh/km). Note that this is significantly more than what the car's trip meters report because the car does not account for charger inefficiencies or standby losses. I wanted to know what comes out of the wall (and hence, what I pay for) that is directly attributable to my electric vehicle.

    If you take your km driven then multiply by 0.326 it will give you your kWhrs, then multiply by $0.118 and you'll get your cost of electricity.
     
  10. e4chan

    e4chan Member

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    Wow mknox! Quite detailed!

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  11. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    FYI, the Ontario Energy Board just today released new electricity rates to be effective May 1st as follows:

    Off-peak Weekdays 7pm to 7 am and all day weekends and holidays. 7.5 cents per kWh, an increase of 0.3 cents from the November 1, 2013 prices.

    Mid-peak Weekdays 7 – 11 am and 5-7 pm. 11.2 cents per kWh an increase of 0.3 cents.

    On-peak. Weekdays 11am to 5 pm. 13.5 cents per kWh an increase of 0.6 cents.

    Some utilities may be adjusting their Distribution Rates as well. Time to update my rate spreadsheet again :cursing:
     
  12. Duckjybe

    Duckjybe S P232

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    Thanks for all this. I was missing the actual energy draw from the wall piece of the puzzle.

    Do you agree utilities should add distribution usage into the time of use rates?
     
  13. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    If I can't opt out of it, don't itemize it.
    The bill should be:

    Electricity variable portion ___$/kwh x ___kwh = $____
    + Electricity fixed portion $____
    + Tax $___

    Anything else is intentionally misleading.
     
  14. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    The short answer is: "Yes". I think it should be an all-inclusive rate just like gasoline is at the gas station.

    The long answer is: "It's complicated". In Ontario, as strange as it sounds, the utilities don't actually "sell" electricity, they "deliver" it just like FedEx delivers packages. The actual commodity cost is simply passed through... either from the default provincial supply or from an independent electricity retailer that you may have contracted with. So the utility has to separate out the commodity from other delivery charges.

    The Ontario Energy Board regulates the way utilities have to present the information, and it can be broadly categorized into the commodity, delivery charges and regulatory charges. Delivery represents what it costs your local utility to get the power to you and Regulatory represents provincial costs like transmission, the dreaded "debt retirement" charge and so forth.

    In addition (and this is totally nuts in my view), the utility has to essentially "mark up" the kWhrs that the meter records by it's OEB approved "Loss factor" representing the utility's unique value for the amount of electricity that is "lost" in transmission and apply it to some, but not all of the billing determinants. In my view, there are losses in the delivery of just about any commodity, and that should simply be reflected in the cost, but the OEB doesn't see it that way.

    Then, HST is heaped on the total and finally, the provincial government takes (temporarily) 10% off of the grand total (up to a cap of 3,000 kWhrs) as some kind of relief measure for the giant mess they've made of the system.

    All of this came about with the good intention of being "transparent" with the customer about how electricity is priced, but at the end of the day, I think it just makes it more confusing, not to mention expensive for utilities to implement in their billing systems.
     
  15. Duckjybe

    Duckjybe S P232

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    Thanks for the justification for the billing breakdown from the utilities point of view. As you allude to, the bill is hardly transparent. Saying in fine print the delivery charge includes "fixed and variable costs" and not break them down is not very transparent. It's actually misleading when the fixed cost amounts to $10 or $20 and the bulk of the delivery charge is per KWh. I had always assumed it was mostly fixed and actually had a hard time finding the delivery charge breakdown doing a search on the internet. Ontarians have been led to believe they pay 7.2 cents/KWh for their electricity (off peak) which is absolutely false. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. It gets even worse if you have a seasonal property where just the delivery alone is charged at 8 cents/KWh, but you can't tell that from the bill!


    Another question: Anybody know if you have solar panels connected using net metering, when your meter spins backwards are you getting paid the delivery charge per KWh charge as well as the TOU rate?
     
  16. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    All of this has been a pet peeve of mine for years, but to be honest I'm torn over whether utilities should show every little line item (as in my table above) or just go with what I like to call the "gas station model" where there is an all-in price per kWh. I tend to think residential consumers would be better served with a single (or three for TOU) rate that they simply have to multiply by their kWh consumption to get the dollar amount.

    If you're really into the minutiae, you can find Oakville Hydro's OEB Rate Order on this page, although they are currently in front of the Board now with a new rate application.


    For simple Net Metering, all of the electricity charges should be calculated. Technically, a bi-directional electronic meter is used with registers for both delivered and received power and the math is done in the utility's billing systems.

    In Ontario, you would be much better to connect solar panels via the provincial microFIT program. In this program, a separate meter is installed and you are paid for all electricity delivered at a substantial premium over regular retail electricity rates. (Currently 39.6 cents/kWh for rooftop solar).
     
  17. Martini

    Martini Member

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    So take the OP's 100km per day with an assumed 22 day/month work schedule and this yields about $84 per month. Add some for weekend driving and call it $100 per month. Certainly possible for the rest of the observed increase to be due to other factors. More months' data will tell the tale.
     
  18. Duckjybe

    Duckjybe S P232

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    Unfortunately one can only have one MicroFIT system in ones name and I already have one. For reasons based more on principle than financial, I would like to do a second solar array (at a different location) to charge my car from the sun. I now realize it may be financially better to do net metering at a seasonal place.
     
  19. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. Utilities in Canada and the US have been bombarded with "high bill complaint" phone calls recently due to the unusually cold winter we had here. Even with gas heating, furnace fans run longer and often people will turn on portable electric heaters and even change behaviors like staying indoors (and using power) more than they might have otherwise.
     
  20. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Some years ago I was astonished at the electricity bills in my first house. We had moved from an apartment where we paid for electricity, and our consumption habits hadn't changed much, but the bills were much larger. So I decided to figure out where all the power was going. The result was a huge surprise - the biggest consumer of power in my house was the furnace fan!
     

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