Understanding Your Electric Bill

November 01, 2022

Some people analyze every line on a bill while others only look for the amount due at the bottom. No matter where you fall on the spectrum from scrutinizer to skimmer, it’s important to understand the components of your Salem Electric bill. For a detailed explanation of your entire bill visit our Understanding Your Bill page.

Basic Charge 

The 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. The basic charge will be determined by the type of service you have, and is the same amount each month.

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. Learn more from our Kilowatts, Kilowatt Hours, and Demand page.

Demand Charge  

This is the peak amount of power you used during the billing period measured in kilowatts (kW). Not all rates have a cost associated with the demand charge. All bills will display the peak demand for that billing period even if there is no cost associated with the demand charge in your rate. Learn more at Kilowatts, Kilowatt Hours, and Demand.

Commercial Accounts

Commercial accounts can have a basic charge, energy charge, and a demand charge that is affected by their power factor. If you need assistance understanding your bill please contact us. We are happy to help.


sample bill