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Understanding Your Bill FAQ

Contact us. Most questions can be answered quickly when brought to our attention. In some cases, you may need to give us time to review our records before we can respond to your inquiry.

If your bill seems too high and you're questioning the amount of service you've used, follow these steps:

  • Take a photo of your meter and email it to us. 
  • Look at the bar chart on your bill. It shows usage for the past 13 months. Consider weather conditions and lifestyle changes that could have increased the amount of energy you used.
  • Read your meter. It will be a little higher than what’s on your bill because you’ll have used more since your meter was last read.
  • Contact us.

If you were billed for more energy than you used, we will credit your account right away. If you’ve used more service than the amount you were billed, we’ll review the bill with you and work to come up with a reasonable payment arrangement, if necessary.

A number of factors affect the amount of your energy bill, like varying number of days in a billing period, seasonal usage, whether the current or previous bills were estimated, if additional people are living in the household, the addition of new appliances, or the condition of your home’s insulation.

Even if both households seem identical, there are many variables that affect the amount of your energy bills:

  • Your neighbor could be on a different service rate.
  • The appliances in your homes may not be the same or in the same condition.
  • Storm windows and levels of insulation may be different in both homes.
  • Living habits could be different, even though family size may be the same. 

As a commercial or industrial customer, you have both an energy charge and a demand charge on your bill. The actual amount of electricity you use is the energy charge. The rate at which you consume electricity is the demand charge.

Commercial and industrial customers usually have much higher demands for electricity. Therefore, they require more expensive, heavy-duty equipment to supply their power. Your demand charge covers O&R’s costs to maintain this equipment and keep your service safe and reliable.

The demand meter records your energy consumption, measured in kilowatt hours, as well as your demand for every 15-minute interval, measured in kilowatts. The highest peak demand recorded for one 15-minute interval is what's shown and billed on your statement.