Are You Overpaying for Hydro For Your Apartment?

How much should you be paying for hydro in your apartment?

I just spoke to a couple recently about their situation in how their electricity bill was being calculated.  They thought something was fishy about how high their hydro bill was in comparison to the other tenants in the building.  They found out that while the other apartments were separately metered, their apartment was not.

So, what are the rules for hydro that is on a shared meter?

First, the hydro has to be separated from the regular rent, as in “rent + hydro”.  It is not considered to be a service.  A landlord can’t bring an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board for rent arrears when it is “rent + hydro”.

There are two ways to calculate the hydro bill for each rental unit.  The first way is to take the number of rental units and divide it into the monthly bill.  If there are 3 apartments in a building and the hydro bill is $150, then each apartment pays $50.  The other way to do it is to take the square footage the entire building (including common areas), divide it into the square footage of the apartment and multiply it by the cost of the utility.  See the table below for an example:

  Sq. Footage Hydro Cost
Entire Complex 2000 ft2 $250.00
     Apartment A (1100 ÷ 2000 x 250) 1100 ft2 $137.50
     Apartment B (500 ÷ 2000 x 250) 500 ft2 $  62.50
     Apartment C (400 ÷ 2000 x 250) 400 ft2 $  50.00

So, it’s just these two methods.  No add-ons.  No minimum amounts.

Lastly, if the landlord uses one method that’s the same between Apartment A and Apartment B, then Apartment C’s hydro has to be calculated in the same way as the other two.  It’s just basic fairness.

If you have a problem with your landlord with hydro or other utilities, you can contact me by using my contact form.