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Your electricity bill: three things you should know

Electricity bill displaying power factor
Take a closer look at your BC Hydro bill. With relatively minor changes in the way your facility uses power, you can cut costs significantly.

It pays to monitor your energy charge, demand charge and power factor surcharge

In a busy facility, it can be easy to treat energy costs as fixed: the bill arrives every month and you pay it.

But if you're not taking a closer look, you may be missing out on significant savings. As energy costs rise, it's increasingly valuable to know what you're using, and how you're charged for it.

Here are three key things to keep an eye on:

Energy charge: keep an eye on consumption trends

For large general service (LGS) and medium general service (MGS) customers, there are two parts to the "energy charge" on your bill: your baseline, and the difference between your actual consumption and your baseline (for a given period).

When you use less electricity than your historic average (your baseline), part of your bill is a credit. When you use more than your baseline, part of your bill is an additional charge. For small general service (SGS) customers, you are charged a flat rate for your energy charges.

Whether you're getting money back or seeing your usage rise — it pays to zero in on this part of your bill.

More detail about energy charge

Demand charge: can you reduce your peak load?

Your demand charge is based on how much power you require within a given billing period. The more power you draw all at once, the higher your charge. If there are energy-intensive processes you can shift to shoulder periods in your operations, you can reduce your peak load, bring down your demand, and reduce your demand charge.

More detail about demand charge

Power factor surcharge: possibly an easy place to save money

If your equipment draws too much "reactive power," you may be facing extra charges. The easy way to avoid it is to install capacitors to help bring down your reactive power needs. This is a line on electricity bills that's easy to overlook, but worth checking for opportunities.

More detail about power factor surcharge

More resources

To locate the various charges on your bill and find out what each of the charges mean, find the bill explainer for your rate structure below or learn more about what rate structure you're under.

Below are more resources to help you learn how to make the most of the information in your BC Hydro bill, to cut costs and save money. If you have questions, call the Business Help Desk at 604 522 4713 (Greater Vancouver) or 1 866 522 4713 (elsewhere in the province), or talk to your Key Account Manager.