If you are a homeowner, business owner, or even an apartment/house renter, you receive a monthly electric bill. Like many other people, you likely don’t give a second thought to the itemized charges; simply glancing at the total amount due, paying it, and going on about your day.
Victory Electric wants the bill and billing process to be as clear and understandable as possible. We know your electric bill contains a lot of technical information and can often be intimidating, overwhelming and confusing. That’s why we’ve provided this tool to walk you through the information and charges found on your electric bill so you have a better understanding of exactly what you pay for each month.
The bill itself contains more information than just the amount you owe. It also breaks down the individual line items making up the total amount due and shows you how much electricity you used in the past 13 months. This information helps you track consumption and look for ways to conserve.
We encourage you to take a look at the sample bill below to try and answer any preliminary questions before you call our office. If you still have questions about billing or payments, please don't hesitate to contact one of our member service representatives.
Breaking Down Your Bill
If your contact information changed or you have a new phone number or email address, please contact us to update your account.
***Email addresses used for account purposes only and never sold or released to third parties.
If your bill seems high, it often can be explained by the information presented in the kWh use history chart. The chart displays your average daily kWh and average high/low temperature to show how weather affects consumption. The 13-month use history also allows you to compare your current bill with the previous month’s use and last year’s use for the same month.
Summarizes account, billing and meter information.
- Line 1:
- Meter Number: Each electric meter has a unique number, which enables Victory Electric to bill appropriately.
- Present reading: The number read from your meter at the end of the billing period.
- Previous reading: The number read from your meter at the start of the billing period.
- Multiplier: A factor used to calculate billing determinants, such as kWh and kW, for commercial members.
- kWh used: The total amount of energy in kilowatt-hours (kWh) used during the billing period. One kilowatt-hour is the equivalent of using 1,000 watts for one hour, or using a 100-watt light bulb for 10 hours.
- Days: The total number of days between the beginning and end of the billing period.
- Amount: Total dollar amount owed for the current bill.
- Cycle: Bills are sent based on what are called billing cycles. Billing cycles are determined by several determining factors including timing of monthly meter reads, service/account characteristics and the bill due date.
- Line 2:
- Map Number: Pinpoints the location of your electric service in our mapping system.
- Present date: The date on which this billing period ended.
- Previous date: The date on which this billing period began.
- Bill type: Can either be a regular monthly bill or a final bill, which is any outstanding balance owed after an account has been closed.
- Rate schedule: Identifies your billing rate tariff.
- Rate code: A code used internally to differentiate types of service characteristics.
- Voting district: Refers to your board voting district in which you vote during trustee elections.
This box details any outstanding balance due, the previous payment applied, deposit (if applicable), current charges, payment due date, and the total amount due if the payment is late.
Bills are mailed around the 10th of the month. All bills are due either the 28th or 29th of every month. If the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, the bill is due the next business day by 5 p.m. Payments received after 5 p.m., on the due date are charged a 2% late fee on the past due amount. If you cannot pay your bill by the due date, call us to discuss payment options or payment arrangement eligibility.
If you choose to opt-in to either the AutoPay or budget billing payment option or are receiving a final bill, it will be indicated here. If you participate in AutoPay, the “$$ TO BE DRAFTED ON” is noted on the payment stub to indicate no action is needed by the member. Other messages that may appear on this line are: “FINAL BILL” which means the account is inactive; “CR BALANCE DO NOT PAY” indicates a credit balance exists and no payment is required as of the billing date; “BUDGET” means account is on our budget billing average balance program.
If mailing your payment, return this perforated portion with the payment.
Please note the reverse page of the billing statement contains important information such as office contact information, payment locations, descriptions of fees and penalties, change of address/contact information field, and more. It also lists other free payment options available.
*** Instead of mailing your payment, save a stamp and choose an alternative, FREE way to pay your bill by phone or online through SmartHub.
The kilowatt hour (kWh) energy charge is designed to recover variable costs, including the cost of power from our power providers, environmental and conservation efforts, capacity requirements, and more. The energy charge is determined by multiplying the total amount of electricity consumed during the billing period, measured in kWh’s, by the energy charge rate. Wholesale energy and capacity costs are about 70 cents of every dollar you pay.
Energy Cost Adjustment
The ECA is a pass-through variable fee or credit for when wholesale power costs from our power provider either exceed, or fall below, the amount budgeted into energy rates. This allows the cooperative to respond to market fluctuations without implementing a rate change.
Taxes and Franchise Fee
All bills are adjusted by the amount of sales tax attributable to the sale of electric service for the service location, unless satisfactory proof of exemption is provided. Victory Electric collects and submits these taxes directly to the appropriate government agency. Franchise fees are set by municipal franchise tax ordinances. Victory Electric collects the tax from members living within the city limits and returns it to the municipal governments for our use of municipal streets, alleys, or public ways to deliver electricity. Victory Electric does not make a profit on the collection of these fees.
Security Light Charge
For members who have an outdoor security light on your property, this is a line item that reflects the monthly fee for the security light the cooperative installs and maintains for the member. Included in the charge is the kWh energy consumed by the light as well as any required maintenance such as changing the photoelectric eye or bulb.
This charge is found on electric bills of members on commercial or industrial rate tariffs, and is the maximum amount of electric current your service used during any 15-minute period of time during the billing month, times a dollar amount per kilowatt (kW). Demand, measured in kW’s, calculates the amount of energy flowing through your equipment at one point in time. The more kW’s a members’ equipment draws at that one point in time, the larger our equipment (transformer, meter, and wires) must be to support the maximum load of your electric service.
Service Availability Charge
The service availability charge covers the cooperative’s fixed costs and is reflective of the investment in the poles, wires, transformers and other equipment it takes to provide you with electric service. It also supports fleet, facility and member service functions, such as line maintenance, substation upgrades, property taxes, right-of-way clearing, and general administrative responsibilities, and is similar to a customer charge other utilities use. Regardless of how often you flip on the light switch or TV, these costs are part of the bill you pay to ensure electricity is available whenever you need it. If one member uses only one kWh of electricity and another member uses 100 kWh’s, Victory Electric still incurs the same cost to build the line, maintain the distribution system, and deliver electricity to both members. It takes just as much equipment to deliver one kWh as it does 100 kWh’s of energy. This is why the monthly service availability charge is important to recover a portion of the cost to deliver electricity and help maintain the financial health of the cooperative.
- Why is the service availability charge different for residential, commercial, industrial and other rate class members? Different kinds of electric users require different configurations of lines, transformers and substations. Each configuration bears different costs, which are allocated appropriately to each rate class. That way no rate class is paying for the needs of another, which is fair and equitable to all members.