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Frequently Asked Questions

When are your offices open?
Our offices are open to the general public for bill payments, signing service agreements, etc. Monday thru Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The office will be closed for all statutory holidays.

Why was I charged a $30.00 occupancy charge?
All customers receive a one time charge on their first bill of $30.00. This charge is to set up the account and take the meter readings.

When is my payment due?
Bills are due upon receipt. The Due Date is located in the box on the top right hand corner of your bill. Bills paid after this date will result in interest being charged to the customers account. If no payment is received 10 days after this date, a collection letter will be hand delivered.

When will my Pre-authorized payment come out of my bank account?
When you are on PAP, your payment will come out on the “Due Date” located on the top right hand portion of your bill.

My account does not reflect my recent payment…..Why?
Payments and Charges usually take 2 - 3 days to be reflected in the billing system. Your bill may have been printed before your payment was posted to your account.

Why is my bill higher this month than in previous months?
Check the number of billing days on your bill. The number of billing days may vary from month to month, e.g. 28 days versus 35 days. Adding an extra week’s usage to your water, sewer and electricity makes a big difference to your total monthly billing.

Why has my Hydro bill increased?
Your Hydro Bill may have increased for a variety of reasons. It has usually changed due to the amount of power you have used. Some examples of things that would increase your consumption would be:

  • Increase in hot water consumption or the addition of a dishwasher, air conditioner or hot tub. The addition of guests can also increase higher energy usage.
  • Change in lifestyle. Have you added a home office, or have you been keeping the house warmer or cooler by running your furnace fan?
  • Home renovations and additions. You will use more energy to heat /cool and run your home during renovations.
  • High shower usage in the summer months.
  • The addition of new appliances.
  • Running a dehumidifier.
  • Running your electric dryer can add up. Don’t overload it with clothes. It will take longer to dry. Venting a dryer to the outside will reduce moisture in the house.
  • Does your home need “weatherizing”? Ceilings, doors, floors and walls may need more insulation. Caulking around windows and pipes will reduce heat loss.
  • Inaccurate thermostat. Make sure your home-heating thermostat is properly calibrated. The higher the setting, the more energy will be used. Turn down the thermostat at night and when no one is at home.
  • Install a programmable thermostat.
  • Extended winter lighting requirements, such as the use of holiday lights. The days are shorter during the winter, resulting in higher use of indoor lighting.

Why did I get a collection letter when I just received my bill?
The collection letter is for arrears from the previous month that have remained unpaid. The bill that you just received in the mail is for the current charges that are due upon receipt. This bill will also show your arrears.

Why has my water/sewer usage charges increased?
Check the number of days in the billing period; additional days will increase your usage.

  • Have you just filled a pool or hot tub?
  • Have you been watering your lawn or flower beds?
  • Look into possible water leaks, such as:
    - Dripping taps and shower heads.
    - Toilet running – you can add a few drops of food coloring to the tank of your toilet, then without flushing the toilet, see if any of the coloring comes into the bowl of the toilet. If it does, your toilet is leaking.
    - Water Softener – check to see if it is recycling the water more frequently than it is scheduled to.

What is a kilo-watt hour?
It's the unit of electricity that your hydro meter measures and for which we bill you each month. A kilowatt-hour [kWh] is 1,000 watts of electricity used in one hour. That is the equivalent of the power used to light a 100 watt light bulb for ten hours. KWh usually accumulates in fractions. Here are some examples to illustrate this concept:

  • If a 100 watt light bulb is on for one hour, that’s one tenth of a kWh. If it’s on for one hour per day for 30 days, that’s 30 X 1/10 = 3 kWh.
  • To operate a standard 5,000 watt electric clothes dryer for 12 minutes, 1/5th of an hour would equal 1 kWh. To operate the dryer for an hour would use 5 kWh.

Security Deposits

Residential customers who have maintained an acceptable payment history for one year will not be required to supply a security deposit. New customers who are able to provide a letter of reference of good payment history for a 12 month period over the last 24 months from another electricity or gas distributor in Canada, will not be required to supply a deposit.

We require a security deposit in the following instances:
1. Any new customer that does not have a prior acceptable payment history with Hydro, or cannot provide a reference letter stating that they had a good payment history from another electric or gas distributor in Canada.
2. Any existing customer that has an unacceptable payment history.
3. Information from the Customer’s previous distributor indicates an unpaid final bill, or a poor payment history.
4. If an active customer with an unacceptable payment history opens an additional account, a security deposit will be required for the additional account.
5. If an active customer already has a deposit on file, but has an unacceptable payment history as per the above, they may be asked for an additional deposit.

The following examples constitute an unacceptable payment history:
• More than one collection notice has been issued in a 12-month period.
• A disconnection/collection trip has occurred.
• More than one cheque has been returned due to insufficient funds, or there has been a stop payment over a 12-month period.
• More than one automatic withdrawal has been returned due to insufficient funds in a 12-month period.
• Deposits are calculated by taking the highest electric bill from the previous twelve months and multiplying by 2.5.

When will I get my deposit back?

1) When you have an acceptable credit rating (see Security Deposits) for twelve consecutive months, the deposit will be applied to your account on the thirteenth month.

2) When you move out of Rideau St.Lawrence Distribution’s service area:

a. If you have a balance on your account that is larger than your deposit, your full deposit will be used against that amount and the remaining balance will be billed and then mailed to your forwarding address, with ‘Final Bill’ marked on it.
b. If your deposit is larger than the balance owing on your account once it has been finalized, a cheque will be mailed to your forwarding address. The cheque will be in the amount of any credit left on your account. A copy of your final bill will be with the cheque, the bill will also read “Final Bill”

Your Electricity Bill

Common charges on all bills:

Whether you buy your electricity from a local utility at a regulated rate or from an independent electricity retailer, your monthly electricity bill contains a number of charges including:

• Electricity: These are charges related to the energy you consume. This is provided by a regulated provider (ie: local utility) or an electricity retailer.
• Delivery: The cost of delivering electricity from generators to utilities and then to your home or business.
• Regulatory: The cost of administering the wholesale electricity system and maintaining the reliability of the provincial grid.
• Debt Retirement Charge: Set by the Ministry of Finance, a charge per kWh is used to pay down the residual stranded debt of the former Ontario Hydro.


Other items on bills from electricity retailers:

If you have signed a contract with an independent electricity retailer, there will be additional items on your bill. These include:

• A Provincial Benefit Line: It can be a charge or a credit to you. It is your share of the difference between the government’s regulated and contract prices for electricity paid to certain generators, and the market prices they would have received had they not been subject to regulations or contract. If you buy electricity from the Regulated Price Plan, an estimate of this amount is already set by the OEB, which is shown on the “Electricity” line of your bill. If you buy from a retailer the Provincial Benefit is not included. It will be shown on a separate line.

• Regulated Price Plan (RPP) True Up: If you switch to an electricity retailer, you need to settle the outstanding Regulated Price Plan account you have with your utility. Why? You buy and pay for electricity under a Regulated Price Plan with the utility, in which you are charged a stable price for the hydro you consume. This price may not reflect what is paid to generators. Eventually, the difference needs to be settled.

• For Consumers that remain on the Price Plan, the difference is kept track of in a variance account and is used to set future prices.

• Consumers who switch to a Retailer may either receive a credit or will need to pay for any outstanding charges related to their hydro use while they were on the regulated price plan.

• This is a one-time charge or credit, called the “RPP True Up”, that will appear on your final bill as a Regulated Price Plan consumer.


 


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