Understanding Your Utility Bills

Electric Bills
kW - Kilowatt

The kilowatt (symbol: kW), equal to one thousand watts, is typically used to state the power output of engines and the power consumption of tools and machines. kW is also a measure of the resistive portion of a total power requirement, generally understood as the amount of electrical capacity required to serve an end-use load. Depending on the rate classification at which a customer takes electrical service, kW can be located on customer bills as a regulated Delivery or Distribution Charge typically as a Billing Demand charge. Depending on the local utility company’s Tariff for Electrical Service, Billing Demand Charges may be subject to ratchet clauses and fixed over a period of billing cycles. A kilowatt is roughly equivalent to 1.34 horsepower.


kWh - Kilowatt Hour

A unit of measure for electricity usage, the kilowatt hour (symbol kWh) is a unit of energy equal to one kilowatt (one-thousand watts) acting for one hour.


Billing Period

The time period during which you received services and for which you are being billed.

Basic Service Charge/Customer Charge


Represents the cost of metering, electric billing and other customer services. This charge may include the cost of a minimum amount of usage that is billed whether or not energy is used.

Transmission, Delivery and Distribution Charges

Typically lists charges related to the cost of bringing electricity to the customer via the poles and wires for the current billing period.

Supply/Supplier Charges


Reflects the cost of energy supply. This is the deregulated portion of your bill that can be compared to offers from competitive suppliers (Price to Compare).

Please select a utility from the list below for more detailed information regarding the layout and explanation of your bill:


PSEG Sample Bill Electric
PSEG – Understanding Your Bill


JCPL – Bill Format
JCPL – Understanding Your Bill
JCPL – NJ Bill Explanation of Terms



ACE – Understand Your Bill


Rockland Electric

RECO – Sample Utility Bill
RECO – Understand Your Bill