Understanding Your Bill

Understanding Your Electric Bill

We’re here to help you understand your electric bill so that you know exactly what you pay for each month.

In addition to your monthly energy charges, your bill statement includes:

  • Your account number, billing date, and due date
  • A summary of payments and charges 
  • A historical monthly billing graph that charts your usage over the last 13 months
  • Convenient ways to pay your bill and stay connected

Explore the sample statement below for a summary of each section of your monthly bill, and visit Kilowatts, Kilowatt-Hours, and Demand for an explanation of the electrical terms.


Sample Bill Page 1

Sample bill page 1

1) Amount Due

Your balance including current charges and any unpaid previous balance.

2) Important Notice

If you have a past due balance, an important message shows the date that the balance must be paid by to avoid an interruption in service.

3) Member Information

Your account information including member name, service address, member number, and account number.

4) Monthly Energy Use Comparison

Compare your electric usage side by side with last month and the same month last year.

5) Bill Stub

If you mail your payment, please include this detachable stub to ensure accurate posting. 


Sample Bill Page 2

Sample bill page 2

6) Billing Detail

a. Meter Number: Each electric meter has a unique number which enables Salem Electric to bill appropriately.
b. Service Dates: The dates of the current billing period.
c. Previous Reading: The meter reading at the start of the current billing period.
d. Present Reading: The meter reading at the end of the current billing period.  
e. Metered kWh: The difference in meter readings for the billing period (Present Reading minus Previous Reading) in kWh.
f. Multiplier: A factor applied to the meter reading to correctly bill kWh and kW. For residential accounts, this is usually 1.
g. Recorded kWh: The total amount of energy used during the billing period (calculated by multiplying the Metered kWh by the Multiplier).
h. Demand kW: The peak amount of energy used during the billing period. The amount is an average measured over a rolling 15-minute interval. 

Kilowatts, Kilowatt-Hours, and Demand Explained

7) Billing Charges

a. Previous Balance: This is the amount billed on your last billing statement.
b. Payment Received: This is the amount of any payment(s) received during the current billing period.
c. Adjustments: Any fees or adjustments may be found here. Typical adjustments may include late fees, capital credit refunds, deposit charges, and energy efficiency incentives. 
d. Basic Charge: Supports fixed costs such as maintenance, billing, and customer service, regardless of the energy used. This is a charge for having service available and is billed even if no electricity is used. 
e. Energy Charge: This variable charge is the amount of electricity you used during the billing period measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), multiplied by your energy charge rate. 
f. Demand Charge: This is the maximum amount of power you used during the billing period measured in kilowatts (kW). Not all rates have a cost associated with the demand charge. Kilowatts, Kilowatt-Hours, and Demand Explained

g. Salem/Keizer City Tax: This represents a portion of the fee assessed by the cities of Salem and Keizer. This fee only applies to locations within the city limits of Salem or Keizer.
h. Total Amount Due: Your total account balance after payments, adjustments, and new charges are applied.


8) Usage History

A graph comparing your energy (kWh) consumption each month for the past 13 months. This allows you to monitor changes in your monthly energy consumption over time.

9) Ways to Pay

Highlights time saving-payment methods. Tired of sending a check in the mail? Check out these other convenient options to make your monthly payment.

10) Back of Bill Stub

Return this section of the bill to update your contact information or enroll in the Round Up Program. If you wish to enroll in Round Up and don't receive a paper billing statement, you can download a donation form, or log into your account from the Salem Electric home page or via the SmartHub mobile app.