Average Electricity Prices Canada

Electricity Prices in Canada 2020

Published by Rylan Urban on Feb 14, 2020. Last updated Sept 6, 2020.

Average Electricity Prices Canada

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 1,000 kWh.

The average price decreases to $0.135 if you exclude the territories.

Here is the average total cost of electricity by province, based on a monthly consumption of 1,000kWh:

Alberta16.7¢/kWh
British Columbia12.4¢/kWh
Manitoba9.6¢/kWh
New Brunswick12.7¢/kWh
Newfoundland & Labrador13.8¢/kWh
Nova Scotia15.0¢/kWh
Northwest Territories38.7¢/kWh
Nunavut37.5¢/kWh
Ontario12.5¢/kWh
Prince Edward Island16.8¢/kWh
Quebec7.3¢/kWh
Saskatchewan18.2¢/kWh
Yukon Territory14.5¢/kWh
Canada Average17.4¢/kWh

Québec has the cheapest electricity prices in all of Canada ($0.073/kWh), while the Northwest Territories has the most expensive electricity prices ($0.387/kWh).

The tables below show how average electricity prices change based on the amount of electricity that is consumed each month.

Average Electricity Prices Canada
Average Electricity Prices in Canada

Note in the charts above that the average price per kWh goes both up and down (and at different rates), depending on the province you live in. This is because of differences in how electricity rates are designed.

Read the next section (Electricity Bill Rate Design) for more on this topic! See the Methodology and Data Sources sections for details on data collection and calculations.

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Electricity Bill Rate Design

Electricity Bill Rate Design

energyhub.org evaluates several elements of electricity bill rate design for our Provincial Solar Power Guides & Rankings. Rate design is important for distributed energy generation, efficiency, and conservation programs.

In our opinion, superior rate designs are the ones that allow you to save the most money when you save energy. This might sound intuitive – but not all provinces allow you to save the same amount of money.

For example, reducing your electricity bill from 1,500 to 750 kWh per month will save you 55% on your electricity bill in British Columbia, 48% in Nova Scotia, but only 43% in Alberta!

Superior designs have low fixed monthly fees and either tiered or time-of-use (TOU) electricity rates. Inferior designs have high fixed monthly fees and flat electricity rates.

Check out the first set of charts below to see how fixed monthly fees vary by province, and the second set to see how rate design (including price) affects the total average monthly electricity bill:

Average Fixed Costs Electricity Canada
Average Fixed Costs of Electricity in Canada
Average Monthly Electricity Bill Canada
Average Monthly Electricity Bills in Canada

Methodology

Intro

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 modeled 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.

Data Validation

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.

Comparison of energyhub and quebec hydro electricity prices

Δ = “change in”, MPU = “Multiple Provincial Utilities”, N/A = “not applicable” or, in the case of Manitoba, “not available”.


Data Sources

Alberta

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.

British Columbia

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.

Manitoba

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.

New Brunswick

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.

To calculate electricity rates in New Brunswick, we used the average urban residential rates published by NB Power and Saint John Energy. Each utility was weighted equally.

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.

We used the residential rates published by Newfoundland Power and Newfoundland Labrador Hydro in our calculations. Each utility was weighted equally.

Nova Scotia

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.

All data came from domestic rates published by Nova Scotia Power, the Fuel Adjustment Mechanism was also taken into account.

Northwest Territories

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.

Nunavut

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.

Ontario

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, Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro, Hydro Ottawa, Toronto Hydro, Veridian 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.

Québec

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.

Saskatchewan

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.

Yukon Territory

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.

For our calculations, we used the rates and riders published by Yukon Energy and Atco Electric Yukon, excluding the rates for Old Crow. All three price tiers were used in our model.


More Energy Insights

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Referencing This Study?

Creative Commons License

energyhub.org is licensed and protected under Creative Commons (CC BY).

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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18 thoughts on “Electricity Prices in Canada 2020”

  1. Not sure where you get your prices in Alberta. Maybe if you posted what you calculated the average kWh price was that would help. Online the Reg rate is 7.696 cents and the fixed is at 6.30 cents (Jan 28, 2021). These are the best rates posted. Using the consumers advocate website for prices using an average of 576 kWh per month we get an average of about $165 with all the fees. It we increase the consumption to 1000 kWh per month, we add about $25 to the bill excluding any increases in fees. I get a rate around 19cents, but no where near the 16.7cents per kWh. You must be using very low rates for power and I would love to know where you get the rates from. They don’t seem to be posted anywhere. Since fees are static and are difficult to lower, that means the kWh must be low.

    Reply
  2. I am in southern Alberta pay on average $0.19 kWh on my bills. It doesn’t make a difference whether the rate is at 6.8 cents or 8.3 cents … they just gorge you in the fees and it comes out to basically the same amount in the end. I moved to Alberta from Ontario a couple years ago. Alberta has way more fees making it seem almost impossible to actually decrease the cost of your bill. In Ontario the fees were less and more of the price was in the actual usage, this gave incentive to try and conserve, but I do not miss the Time of Use from Ontario. This is a highly unfair system, penalizing the average person who wants to do their laundry, run dishwasher, etc during the day.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing – if you’re using about 1,000 kWh per month, then you’d be just over the average in Alberta. The extra fees are tough – as you point out, because the variable electricity cost is only about 6-8 cents.

      Reply
  3. My 2019/2020 power bills including all taxes, fixed and variables costs were:

    Red Deer, Alberta — average of 75 kwh per month @ $0.54 kwh
    Whitehorse, Yukon — average of 700 kwh per month @ $0.25 kwh

    Do I need to use 2000 kwh per month to get costs down to the posted averages? I have never in my life seen anyone’s power bill come close to matching this sites average cost per kwh.

    Reply
    • Hi Jessie – check out Stephanie’s comment, she’s pretty close to the average in Alberta. Your average cost is a lot higher because you’re only using 75 KWh per month. The fixed fees are going to make up a high proportion of your bill and bring your average cost way up. But we agree – it’s unfortunate how things are structured that way…

      Reply
  4. BOGUS ALERT !!

    Alberta average is far different than my September electricity bill.
    -Electric Charge129 kwh @ 0.062220 + 48.8 kwh @ 0.061630 = $11.08
    -Admin Charge: $7.15
    -Delivery Charges
    – Distribution charge: $19.43
    – Transmisaion Charge: $3.48
    -Balancing Poll Allocation: $0.46
    -Rate Riders: $5.13
    Local access fee paid to City: $4.40
    SUMMARY: $51.13
    That is $0.286 cents per kwh

    NOWHERE near 16.7 cents per kwh as on this website.

    Reply
    • Hi Rick, we clearly state that our numbers are based on an average monthly usage of 1,000 kWh. You’re only using about 13% of that, so your fixed fees are going to make up a much higher proportion of your bill and bring your average cost way up. Also, it’s more likely than not that your personal bill for any given month won’t equal an annual average in Alberta. That’s why it’s an average!

      Reply
  5. This is BS. Electricity rate is:
    Alberta rate is .055¢, not .167¢
    B.C. rate is .093¢, not .124¢
    Nunavut rates can differ by up to 100% depending on location.
    I can just imagine how wrong you are for the other provinces and territories.

    Reply
    • Hi Maycol. The numbers on this page are for the total cost of electricity based on a given amount of consumption, not just the energy charge (which you’ve quoted here for Alberta and BC). Total costs also include fix fees (such as monthly admin fees) and other variable costs (such as distribution charges) that make up your total bill for the month. These additional charges vary by province/territory, and the calculation methodology is given for each. For Nunavut, the charges do vary considerably, which is why we’ve taken the average of all 25 communities listed on their government’s website.

      Reply
    • You missed adding in all the other charges. Take a look at your electricity bill there are additional charges like Administration, Delivery, Rate Riders, BalancingbPool, local Access fees..

      Reply
  6. The folks in NOTL are probably used to it by now, but it’s not really called Niagra (as in Viagra) On The Lake. Maybe Niagara Falls should provide a clue as to the correct spelling!

    Reply
  7. Well, in alberta, if i include, my rate riders to direct, admin fee, gst and then… transmission, distribution, rate rider local access to the city. for 627 kwh, i was charged 198. for a total average of 31 cents per kwh. i think i’d still pay 50 a month if i shut the power off for a month.

    Reply
    • Hi Jeff, our calculations also use a variable rate of $0.1118/kWh for NB power and $0.1028 for Saint John Energy. However, when you add fixed costs, the math works out to $0.127/kWh assuming 1,000kWh of usage per month. We explain this calculation in the methodology section.

      Reply

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