Understanding Your Bill

You pay your bill every month, but what exactly does it mean?

What Is a Kilowatt Hour (kWh)?
The kilowatt-hour is the basic measurement used to calculate your bill. Any electronic device has a certain amount of electricity it needs to function, also known as its wattage.

For example, the average ceiling fan is 50 watts. If you use that fan for 20 hours in one month, your ceiling fan will have consumed one kilowatt-hour. You can do the math by multiplying the wattage (50) by the number of hours used (20), and then dividing the sum by 1,000.

Here’s another example: If you run a 1,500-watt space heater for 8 hours a day, every day of the month, that will use up about 360 kWh for the month. Here’s the math: You used it for a total of 240 hours that month, because 8 hours a day x 30 days = 240. So, multiply the wattage (1,500) by the number of hours used (240), and then divide that by 1,000.

Now that you know what a kilowatt-hour is, let’s examine your bill more closely.

Usage: Sam Houston Electric Cooperative’s meters accurately record the kilowatt-hours used with a register that counts in ascending order. So, our billing department calculates your actual usage by subtracting your official reading before your last bill from your most recent reading.

Delivery Charge: The delivery cost represents the price of delivering power to your location. It allows us to maintain the substations, poles and distribution lines that deliver electricity to you. It also covers necessary system upgrades and right-of-way maintenance. This charge is currently .0310 per kilowatt-hour of consumption.

Energy Charge: The energy charge is the actual cost of the electricity Sam Houston EC provides to you. This charge is not marked up– it’s the actual cost of electricity on the market that Sam Houston EC is able to purchase.

Base Charge: Sam Houston EC bills also include a base charge of $19.75. This covers expenses associated with having a meter at your location, including monthly readings, billings, repairs, meter testing and maintenance of your electric service.

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