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Utilities Kingston website

Frequently asked questions about your bill

It's important that our customers understand the services they receive for the rates they are paying. This page aims to address some of our customers' most frequently asked questions about their water, wastewater/sewer, gas and electricity bills.

If you don't see the question you're looking for, please email customer service or call us at 613-546-0000, between 8 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday. We'll be glad to assist you.

  • Billing

    • You might find our page on Understanding Your Electricity Bill helpful.

      There are several components/charges to your electricity bill, as regulated by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). Kingston Hydro receives the distribution charge. This is a variable per kilowatt-hour (kWh) charge intended to allow the utility to recover the cost of building and maintaining its low-voltage distribution system, including overhead and underground distribution lines, poles, and transformer stations.

      To learn more about all the components of your bill, visit the OEB website.

    • For an explanation of how water bills are estimated, please contact customer service at 613-546-0000, Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM.

    • We use one year of historical data for the period we need to estimate. The data is from actual meter reads. It is used to determine an average daily use for a customer. The average daily use is then multiplied by the number of days in the billing period.

    • There are two reasons why Utilities Kingston estimates the water or natural gas consumed by your household or business.

      First, unlike electricity smart meters that are read remotely, most water and gas meters require a meter reader to visit your neighbourhood and collect readings with a hand-held device. To operate efficiently, Utilities Kingston only collects meter readings every other month for smaller volume customers. This means every second bill is usually an estimate of your usage, based on your past billed consumption for that month.

      Second, we need to estimate water and gas consumption in cases where a meter is inaccessible or communications equipment is blocked. In these cases, our meter readers can’t obtain a reading. This often happens in winter months when meters are covered in snow and ice, or there is no pathway shovelled to the meter where a visual reading is required.

      To avoid an estimated bill, use our online form to provide the actual meter reading in advance of the bill date, or call it in to our customer service centre at 613-546-0000, Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM. Reading your own meter on a regular basis will help you identify water leaks before they become too costly, reduce the likelihood of unexpected credits or charges showing up on your bill, and help you better understand how your water or gas use changes through the seasons.

      Meter Reads

    • When a customer opens a new account, our employees complete a variety of tasks in order to arrange for each water, wastewater/sewer, gas or electricity service. This may include reading meters, turning on utility services, and conducting administration.

      A $15 standard application fee covers the costs to arrange for each service (totalling up to $60 plus HST, depending on the number of services). Due to the cost saving benefits of the unique multi-utility model in Kingston, we are able to keep this charge amongst the lowest in the industry.

      If the service to the address has been turned off, a reconnection fee may also apply.

      Did you know? In the public interest, electricity rates/charges are reviewed and approved by the Ontario Energy Board, while water, wastewater/sewer and gas rates/charges are approved by The Council of The City of Kingston.

    • For your convenience, a real time Time-of-use indicator is displayed at http://www.kingstonhydro.com/

      The Ontario Energy Board introduced Time-of-use (TOU) electricity prices and schedules to reduce electricity use at peak times. You can visit their website for up-to-date information on TOU rates, holiday schedules, and more.

    • The MyUtilities customer portal allows you to view your household consumption of water, gas and electricity, as well as your transaction and payment history. Track your electricity consumption by the day or hour, view your usage history, learn how temperature affects your consumption patterns, compare prices and view your billing amounts. All you need to get started is your account number and the amount of your last payment.

      Get started at my.utilitieskingston.com

    • To sign up for eBilling, register an account at my.utilitieskingston.com. Before you can register, ensure you've made at least one payment on the account. Once registered, you can sign up for eBilling by logging in and editing your profile. 

      You may consider the ePost service, an alternate mail delivery service offered by Canada Post. There is no charge for this service. To subscribe to ePost, visit their website, www.ePost.ca. Please have your billing account number and the last eight digits of your bill SEQ-ID number ready.

    • Basic monthly service charges are billed for each service: electricity, gas, water, and wastewater/sewer.

      These amounts are based on a 30-day billing period and are pro-rated to the actual billing period. These charges are used to recover costs associated with utility administration, meter maintenance and other operational costs for each service.

      You can download the rates schedule to view the current monthly service charge for each service. To find current rate schedules, look in the footer (bottom) of this website, in the column Current Rates.

    • The length of the billing period is listed on your bill, by the number of days.

    • The statement dates reflects when the bill is processed and mailed. It is not an indication of when your last meter reading was taken. Your bill lists the date up to which transactions are reflected.

    • To help deliver cost-effective services through efficient utility operations, gas and water meters are read every other month for billing purposes. The in-between bills are estimated. To avoid an estimated bill, use our online form to provide the actual meter reading in advance of the bill date, or call it in to our customer service centre.

      To learn the billing schedule for your address, please contact customer service at 613-546-0000, from Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

      Submit your meter reading

  • Moving and account changes

  • Payments

    • Sign up to receive bills online in face of possible postal delays 
      Canada Post is warning of delivery delays due to large holiday volume and the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers are encouraged to sign up to receive their utility bills online, to avoid missing a bill and payment. Customers are responsible for keeping their accounts up to date and Utilities Kingston has options in place to help.

      We offer a variety of regular payment options including pre-authorized payment, banking, in person, via drop box or mail, or by credit card. These options are outlined on the back of the billing statement and are also described on our page about payment options

      Beware of payment scams! Utilities Kingston never requests payment via gift cards or bitcoin, and we don't solicit payments for overdue accounts using email, text or phone calls. In the case of an overdue account, we send multiple notices in the mail.

    • Yes. The equal payment plan averages your utility costs over a 12-month period so that you pay an equal amount each month. You will be billed a set amount for eleven months with the close-out amount reflected on the twelfth bill. This settle-up bill will also detail the new installment amount for the coming eleven months. If you choose to join an equal payment plan, you will find the current plan balance on the last page of each monthly bill.

      Your account must be paid in full prior to joining the plan. We only recommend the equal payment plan for accounts with a 12-month billing history at the address.

      For information on the installment amount for your address, or to arrange the setup of the plan for your account, please contact customer service at 613-546-0000 from Monday to Friday between 8 AM and 5 PM.

    • Yes, we offer this service. The pre-authorized payment plan (PAP) is one of the easiest, most convenient ways to pay your utility bill.

      From our page on payment options, you can download the PDF form required to sign up for PAP. Follow the instructions to complete and provide the form to our office, along with a void cheque.

      To find out more about the convenience and benefits of this payment option please contact customer service at
      613-546-0000.

  • Time-of-Use customer choice

    • If you’re a residential or small business customer that pays Time-of-Use (TOU) electricity prices, you can choose to switch to Tiered prices beginning November 1, 2020.

      If you want to continue paying TOU prices, no action is required.

      To switch from TOU to Tiered prices, you must notify us by completing an election form. We will begin accepting election forms on October 13, 2020. There is no deadline.  You can ask to switch at any time.

      Since June 1, 2020, customers on TOU have been paying a fixed electricity price of 12.8 ¢/kWh for all hours of the day (known as the COVID-19 Recovery Rate) which the government put in place as part of its response to the COVID pandemic. This fixed price ends on October 31, 2020. On November 1, 2020, the TOU prices approved by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) will replace the fixed price.

    • With Time-of-Use (TOU) prices, the price depends on when you use electricity.  

      There are three TOU price periods:

      • Off-peak, when demand for electricity is lowest. This price applies in the evenings on weekdays and all day on weekends.
        Every household and small business is different, but on average, Ontario households use nearly two-thirds of their electricity during off-peak hours. 
      • Mid-peak, when demand for electricity is moderate. These periods are during the daytime, but not the busiest times of the day.
      • On-peak, when demand for electricity is generally higher. These are the busier times of day – generally when people are cooking, starting up their computers and running heaters or air conditioners.

      With TOU pricing, you can help manage your electricity costs by shifting your usage to lower price periods when possible.

      People use electricity differently depending on the season, so the TOU price periods are different in the summer (May 1 to October 31) than they are in the winter (November 1 to April 30). 

    • With Tiered prices, you can use a certain amount of electricity each month at a lower price. Once that limit (called a threshold) is exceeded, a higher price applies. Although May to October 2020 has been an exception due to COVID-19, for residential customers, the threshold normally changes with the season to reflect changing usage patterns – for example, there are fewer hours of daylight in the winter and some customers use electric heating. In the winter period (November 1 – April 30), the Tier threshold for residential customers is 1,000 kWh, so that households can use more power at the lower price. In the summer period (May 1 – October 31), the Tier threshold for residential customers is 600 kWh. The Tier threshold for small business customers is 750 kWh all year round.

      Tiered prices give you the flexibility to use electricity at any time of day at the same price, although that price will change if you exceed the threshold during the month.

    • The OEB sets Time-of-Use (TOU) and Tiered prices based on a forecast of how much it will cost to supply TOU and Tiered customers with the electricity they are expected to use over the next 12 months. The OEB sets TOU and Tiered prices to recover the same forecast average cost of supply.

      The OEB sets both TOU and Tiered prices under the Regulated Price Plan (RPP).  The RPP is designed to provide stable pricing, encourage conservation and ensure that the price customers pay for electricity better reflects the price paid to generators that produce the electricity that customers use in their homes or small businesses.

      Electricity utilities do not make a profit from the sale of electricity.

    • The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) typically sets new Time-of-Use (TOU) and Tiered prices for May and November, based on an estimate of how much it will cost to supply residential and small business customers on the Regulated Price Plan with the electricity that they are expected to use.

    • There is no guarantee you will save money if you switch from Time-of-Use (TOU) to Tiered prices. The total bill impact of switching will vary depending on how much electricity you consume in a month and when it is consumed during the day.

      Considering a switch to Tiered prices? For more information, use the Ontario Energy Board's bill calculator to compare what your bill might look like if you switched from TOU to Tiered pricing.

    • If you’re a Time-of-Use (TOU) customer and don’t want to switch to Tiered prices, you don’t need to do anything. You will stay on TOU prices.

      If you do want to switch to Tiered prices (now or later):

      • Starting October 13, 2020, we'll make an election form available on our website and to any customer who requests it. You can also submit your choice by phone at 613-546-0000. You’ll need to fill out the election form to notify Utilities Kingston that you want to switch. Have a recent electricity bill on hand when filling out the form, as you will need your utility account number.
      • Within 10 business days of receiving your election form, we will tell you when you can expect to start being billed on Tiered prices, or if your election form can’t be processed, we will notify you and explain why.
      • Because a switch in prices can only take effect at the beginning of a billing period, it will take some time between the day you provide your election form and the day you actually start getting charged Tiered prices. 
      • If we receive your form at least 10 business days before the billing period starts, we'll start charging Tiered prices as of your next billing period, provided there are no issues with your form.
      • If we receive your complete election form less than 10 business days before the start of your next billing period, we might still be able to switch you for your next billing period. But if we can’t, we will start charging you Tiered prices at the start of the next billing period after that.
      • Even if you provide your election form to Utilities Kingston before the end of October, you’ll very likely pay TOU prices for at least some period of time – between November 1 and the time when your next complete billing period starts (or the billing period after that, depending on when you provide your election form).
    • Yes. And the rules that apply to switching to Tiered prices also apply if you later want to switch back to Time-of-Use (TOU) prices.

    • Any customer on Time-of-Use (TOU) may opt out and pay Tiered prices instead.

      Customers who are currently paying Tiered prices can’t switch to TOU prices at this time because their meters can’t be used to bill TOU prices.

      If you live in a condo or apartment that has its own individual meter and your bill comes from a company other than your electricity utility, you are a customer of a unit sub-meter provider (USMP).  Customers of USMPs also can’t switch to Tiered prices. That decision can only be made for the building as a whole by the master consumer, who is the person that retained a USMP for the property. In most cases, the master consumer is the property manager, landlord or condominium board.

    • Yes. Electricity utilities will inform all new Regulated Price Plan customers that they have a choice between Time-of-Use (TOU) or Tiered prices when they set up the account.