There are a number of situations or factors that can cause changes in your bill.
Your bill includes fees, taxes and levies beyond what you’re charged for the electricity or natural gas you use.
When you pay your bill, that money supports getting energy from where it’s created to your home.
Rate changes: The floating rate for electricity increased in July.
High temperatures: An extended heat spell often leads to increased use of fans or air conditioning to help people stay cool.
Water usage: As well, you may also be using more water for your lawns and gardens or keeping kiddie pools filled all the time.
Here’s an example of what an average ENMAX Energy customer’s bill could look like:*
Charges for your energy
Charges for the delivery system
Charges for municipal services
*Bill breakdown estimate represents the annual cost breakdown for an average ENMAX Energy customer in Calgary with electricity and/or natural gas from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015.
How much energy you use every month is measured by a meter and you are charged for the electricity or natural gas you use during a specific billing period.
Pays for: The electricity you use each month.
Details: Electricity is charged on a fixed rate (same rate every month)* or a variable rate (can rise and fall)*. What you use is measured by kilowatt hour (kWh). The average home in Alberta uses around 600 kilowatt hours every month.
Pays for: The natural gas you use each month.
Details: Similar to electricity, your natural gas is billed on either a fixed or variable rate*. Your use is charged by the gigajoule (GJ). The average home in Alberta uses around 9 gigajoules every month.
* Some conditions, admin, other fees and taxes beyond the electricity and natural gas rates also apply.
Beyond the energy you use, you can also see charges that help support infrastructure maintenance and upgrades, as well as other fees related to energy.
Pays for: The costs related to building and maintaining the distribution system as well as general utility operations. Distribution fees support networks or pipelines that move energy around the communities to your home or business where it will be used.
Details: This charge is collected on behalf of the local wires owner to help cover delivery related costs. It is charged regardless of which retail company you choose to supply electricity or natural gas. These charges are reviewed and approved by the regulator for your service area.
Pays for: Upgrades and maintenance for the wires and infrastructure that moves electricity from generation facilities to the Alberta communities where it’s used.
Details: This charge is collected on behalf of the Alberta Electricity System Operator. All Albertans and industry pay transmission fees, which can vary based on several factors. These charges are reviewed and approved by the regulator for your service area.
Pays for: Balancing cash flow associated with power purchase arrangements (PPA) and related events resulting from deregulation.
Details: Created by legislation, the balancing pool allocation hands back the costs and benefits of PPAs and related events resulting from deregulation to ratepayers.
Pays for: Adjustments to compensate for differences between the actual cost of electricity or natural gas and the approved rate for the service.
Details: Riders can be either a credit or a charge depending on the market conditions and are set by the Alberta Utilities Commission.
Pays for: Use of municipal land for electricity or natural gas equipment or the right to be the exclusive distributor for an area.
Details: This fee is collected by electricity or natural gas companies but is set by municipalities and can be based on a percentage of the energy or the delivery charge.
Instead of receiving multiple bills every month if you are in Calgary or Cardston, charges for municipal services are included on your ENMAX bill.
Pays for: The water you use each month.
Details: Depending on where you live, your water could be charged based on exactly what you’ve used (meter) or on a flat fee every month. Your fees are collected on your bill for convenience and then are transferred to your city or your municipality. Your city or municipality sets the rates associated with water in your area. Learn how to check for and eliminate water leaks on the City of Calgary’s
Water Leaks and Basic Repairs page or you can visit our
Water Use page for ideas and resources.
Pays for: Access to and the maintenance of the sewage system.
Details: Also referred to as Wastewater and Drainage, this fee is set by your local municipal government. These fees are collected on your bill and are passed on to local governments who use them for upgrades and repairs to the system.
View City of Calgary Wastewater and Drainage rates
Pays for: Garbage removal, landfills and recycling programs.
Details: Depending on the services offered in your area, this fee could be a flat monthly fee or may be broken down to a daily fee. Your municipality sets these fees which are collected as part of your bill.
This is applied to your natural gas use.
Details: In 2017 you’ll pay $1.011 per gigajoule (GJ), which will increase to $1.517/GJ in 2018. For more information on the carbon levy and rebates available, visit the
Alberta government website.
Similar to other service providers, your bill can include charges that help pay for costs associated with your account.
Pays for: Billing and customer service
Details: Administration fees go towards costs such as billing, procurement, and customer services provided by your electricity or natural gas retailer. Each retailer sets this fee and you may be billed a flat monthly fee or a daily fee for these services.
Pays for: Costs associated with purchasing energy
Details: This charge helps offset the costs to purchase energy that is then sold to retail plan customers.
Visit our How to Read Your Bill page to see where these various charges appear on your bill.
The money we all pay for our energy supports creating the energy and getting it to you to use in your home.
Costs for generating electricity or procuring natural gas are not regulated and are set by the companies that create the energy.
Costs associated with maintaining and upgrading the network of wires and pipelines which move electricity and natural gas from where it’s created to all around Alberta are reviewed and approved by the regulator for your service area.
Costs associated with maintaining and upgrading the wires and pipelines which move electricity and natural gas around municipalities and to homes are reviewed and approved by the regulator for your
How much energy you use every month is measured by a meter and you pay for what you use.
All customers are free to purchase natural gas services from the default supply provider or from a retailer of their choice and to purchase electricity services from the regulated rate provider or from a retailer of their choice. The delivery of natural gas and electricity to you is not affected by your choice. If you change who you purchase natural gas services or electricity services from, you will continue receiving natural gas and electricity from the distribution company in your service area. For a current list of retailers you may choose from, visit www.ucahelps.alberta.ca or call 310-4822 (toll free in Alberta).
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