Electricity Prices in Canada 2020
Average Electricity Prices
The average residential price of electricity in Canada is $0.174 per kWh. This price includes both fixed and variable costs, and is based on an average monthly consumption of 1000 kWh. The average price decreases to $0.135 if you exclude the territories.
Québec has the cheapest electricity prices in all of Canada ($.073/kWh), while the Northwest Territories has the most expensive electricity prices ($.387/kWh).
The tables below show how average electricity prices change based on the amount of electricity that is consumed each month.
Average Fixed Electricity Costs
The average fixed cost of electricity in Canada equals 11% of the total monthly electricity bill, assuming an average monthly consumption of 1000 kWh.
We calculate this number because of its importance to distributed energy generation, efficiency, and conservation programs. The higher the proportion of fixed costs – the less of an incentive there is to save energy!
For example, reducing your electricity bill from 1,500 kWh to 750 kWh per month will save you 48% on your electricity bill in Nova Scotia, but only 43% in Alberta!
(We recognized that tiered and time of use rates provide an alternate incentive to reduce consumption, and we account for this in our Provincial Solar Energy Rankings.)
Calculating average provincial electricity prices is a challenging task given the wide variation in market and rate structures across the country. For example, 6 provinces use predominantly tiered electricity rates that either increase (BC, NT, NU, QC, YT) or decrease (PE) as a function of electricity usage, 6 use predominantly flat rates (AB, MB, NB, NL, NS, SK), and 1 uses predominantly time-of-use rates (ON).
Additionally, the majority of provinces have a meaningful portion of their population served by at least 2 utility companies (AB, BC, NB, NL, NT, ON, SK), meaning that rates, riders, and tier thresholds often vary by location.
The prices presented on this page reflect our modelled calculations based on publicly available rate data, and are accurate as of February 14th, 2020.
Electricity Bill Calculations
Electricity bills were calculated based on the total price charged to consumers, exclusive of sales tax. This includes basic monthly and variable energy charges, as well as appropriate riders, fees, adjustments and provincial rebates (NT, NU, ON). All provincial rates apply to the urban-residential rate class (or equivalent, specifics given in provincial sections below). All territorial rates also include rural and thermal rate classes to reflect the high proportion of communities living under these conditions.
Only utility companies serving a material proportion of the provincial or territorial population were considered. Both simple and weighted averages were used, depending on the relative proportion of people served by each utility. Only base rate structures were used, special and optional programs (clean energy, long-term, fixed-rate) were not considered.
Our findings are closely corroborated by Hydro-Québec’s 2019 electricity price study. Our final calculated prices vary from ‘s results by 0-11%. Of course, some variation is expected given the time (February 2020 v April 2019) and coverage (provincial average v single city) differences between our studies.
For example, Alberta recently eliminated its regulated energy rate cap (contributing partially to our higher calculated prices) and Nova Scotia recently updated its fuel adjustment mechanism (contributing partially to our lower calculated prices). In many cases, the difference is simply explained by the fact that we used rates from multiple provincial utilities (MPUs) in our calculations.
Δ = “change in”, MPU = “Multiple Provincial Utilities”, N/A = “not applicable” or, in the case of Manitoba, “not available”.
The average residential cost of electricity in Alberta is $0.167 per kWh, or $167 per month, assuming an average monthly usage of 1,000 kWh.
Our model is based on rate data published by the Alberta Utilities Commission. The retail energy rate was calculated using a simple average of all monthly regulated rates (un-capped) in the previous 9 months for Direct Energy, ENMAX Energy, and EPCOR Energy.
Average administrative charges for the residential rate class were calculated based on data available for Direct Energy, ENMAX, and EPCOR. Average distribution and transmission fees for the residential rate class were calculated based on Atco Electric, ENMAX, EPCOR, and Fortis Alberta. Appropriate adjustments for rate riders, local access fees, and the federal carbon charge were also made.
The average residential cost of electricity in British Columbia is $0.124 per kWh, or $124 per month, assuming an average monthly usage of 1,000 kWh.
We used the tiered residential rates from BC Hydro and Fortis BC to calculate prices in BC. Both utilities bill on a 60-day period, so fixed customer charges and tier thresholds were divided by 2 to arrive at monthly numbers. Each utility was weighted equally.
The average residential cost of electricity in Manitoba is $0.096 per kWh, or $96 per month, assuming an average monthly usage of 1,000 kWh.
For our calculations, we used the standard residential rate data published by Manitoba Hydro.
The average residential cost of electricity in New Brunswick is $0.127 per kWh, or $127 per month, assuming an average monthly usage of 1,000 kWh.
Newfoundland & Labrador
The average residential cost of electricity in Newfoundland and Labrador is $0.138 per kWh, or $138 per month, assuming an average monthly usage of 1,000 kWh.
The average residential cost of electricity in Nova Scotia is $0.150 per kWh, or $150 per month, assuming an average monthly usage of 1,000 kWh.
The average cost of electricity in Northwest Territories is $0.387 per kWh, or $387 per month, assuming an average monthly usage of 1,000 kWh.
To calculate rates in the Northwest Territories, we used a weighted average of price data published by the Northwest Territories Power Corporation and Northland Utilities. To account for the Territorial Power Support Program, or model effectively uses tiered pricing with a threshold of 800kWh per month (the average of the two seasonal allowances). Appropriate adjustment riders were accounted for. Both hydro and thermal rates were used.
The average cost of electricity in Nunavut is $0.375 per kWh, or $375 per month, assuming an average monthly usage of 1,000 kWh.
Our calculations used an average of all community prices published by Qulliq Energy Corporation, and take into account the Nunavut Electricity Subsidy. The subsidy threshold was averaged between the two seasons.
The average cost of electricity in Ontario is $0.125 per kWh, or $125 per month, assuming an average monthly usage of 1,000 kWh.
Our model uses the time-of-use rates published by the Ontario Energy Board and assumes that 64% of consumption happens off-peak, 18% mid-peak, and 18% on-peak. We also take into account the updated Ontario Electricity Rebate.
Variable delivery and regulatory charges are based on the OEB Bill Calculator and averaged across Alectra Utilities, Atikokan Hydro, Centre Wellington Hydro, Hydro One, London Hydro, Niagra-on-the-Lake Hydro, Hydro Ottawa, Toronto Hydro, Vanderidian Connections, and Wasaga Distribution.
Prince Edward Island
The average cost of electricity in Prince Edward Island is $0.168 per kWh, or $168 per month, assuming an average monthly usage of 1,000 kWh.
For our calculations, we used the tiered residential urban rates published by Maritime Electric.
The average cost of electricity in Québec is $0.073 per kWh, or $73 per month, assuming an average monthly usage of 1,000 kWh.
The tiered residential rates published by Hydro-Québec were used for our calculations. We assumed uniform daily usage.
The average cost of electricity in Saskatchewan is $0.182 per kWh, or $182 per month, assuming an average monthly usage of 1,000 kWh.
There are three major utility companies that serve electricity in Saskatchewan: Saskpower, Saskatoon Light and Power, and Swift Current Light and Power. Rates vary slightly by utility and in our calculations, we took the average of all three. The ‘standard city residential’ rate class was used.
The average cost of electricity in the Yukon Territory is $0.145 per kWh, or $145 per month, assuming an average monthly usage of 1,000 kWh.
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Electricity Prices in Canada 2020 was published by Rylan Urban on February 14th, 2020.
Urban, R. (2020). Electricity Prices in Canada 2020. energyhub.org. https://energyhub.org/wp-content/uploads/Electricity-Prices-in-Canada-2020.pdf.
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