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Learning to read an electric bill is an important part of being an educated consumer of electricity. The bill is required to include several pieces of information to help consumers know how much electricity they have used and how much it will cost them. The Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC) developed this fact sheet to help consumers better understand their electric bill.
The amount of electricity consumers use each month is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh).
Types of meter readings
The electric company may read the meter or provide an estimate of the electricity used each billing cycle, typically a month. Actual meter readings show the exact amount of electricity you have used during that billing cycle.
An estimated reading is determined by looking at the usage for the same month during past years. Consumers can request two actual meter readings per calendar year if their bill has been estimated for more than two consecutive months.
Consumers also may be able to call in their meter reading to the electric company themselves. Contact your utility first to verify. For more information on how to read an electric meter, pick up the OCC’s fact sheet entitled “How to Read an Electric Meter.”
There are four charges that appear on bills and they are added together to determine what you owe. These charges are:
Electric companies are required to list certain information on your bill. Each company must include:
Consumers should read their bill each month to know what charges appear on the bill and their normal electric usage. If there are any charges that are out of the ordinary, consumers are more likely to notice. Also, the company may place important notices and other updates on the bill. Customers with a supplier may see additional charges as part of the same bill or on a separate bill.
Examples of your electric bill can be found online through your current electric utility. Follow the links below to find more information about the bills:
American Electric Power (AEP):
Duke Energy Ohio:
AES Ohio (formerly Dayton Power & Light):