Your Direct Energy Frequently Asked Questions

Lowering Your Bill

Here are some helpful tips to reduce your energy use:

  • Unplug unused appliances.

  • Maintain or upgrade your furnace and air conditioner.

  • Switch to LED lightbulbs.

  • Wash clothes in cold water.

  • Add motion sensors or timers to outdoor lights.

  • Ensure there are no air leaks around your windows and doors.

  • Rotate ceiling fans counterclockwise in the summer to circulate cool air; turn clockwise in winter to push warm air down.

Visit our Learning Centre to find energy efficiency tips for all seasons. 

If your energy bill is higher than usual, and you're NOT on Average Billing, it is likely due to one or more of these reasons: 

1. Your billing period has changed.

If your bill is higher than usual, check the billing period dates for that cycle. We do our best to provide you with a consistent billing period of about 1-month. But, sometimes, there are delays in receiving consumption information from the distribution company. These delays can result in a longer billing period. 

More days in the billing period will show more consumption, increasing your energy, administration, distribution and government charges. Also, if this is a final bill or if there is a missing invoice, the billing period may be longer than usual.

Extreme hot or cold weather

Exceptionally cold or hot periods during the year lead to more energy usage. A typical residential customer during January consumes 20 GJ per month. However, extraordinary cold spells coupled with more time spent at home could typically contribute to higher usage than that estimate.

We turn up our furnaces or air conditioning units to stay comfortable! Cold temperatures will have an impact on both electricity and natural gas bills. However, hot temperatures are likely only to impact electricity bills as the furnace doesn't run during these times.

3. Distribution charge increases

When you use more energy, not only will your energy charges increase, but your distributor charges will also increase. This increase is because transmission and distribution charges have a variable component. Therefore, the more energy you use, the higher they will be. For natural gas bills, higher usage will also result in a higher Federal Carbon Tax because the government charges it per GJ.

Increased energy consumption

With colder weather, energy use generally increases. Your furnace must burn more natural gas to keep your home at the same temperature as on mild days. Electricity operates the furnace's fan, while electric heat and space heaters will also increase your electricity usage. Shorter days in the winter will also result in using the electric lights longer.

Other changes that can increase energy consumption

Other changes in your home environment, like turning up the thermostat, running the AC more regularly, and adding or changing appliances (i.e. hot tub, electric fireplace, air conditioner), can increase consumption. In addition, having house guests or not keeping up with furnace maintenance and filter changes can result in higher energy bills. 

You can view our energy-saving tips here.

6. An increase in the price of natural gas or electricity

Even if your usage remains the same, regulated natural gas and electricity prices fluctuate monthly. Fluctuations can happen due to weather, increases or decreases in use, world events and supply and demand factors. 

If the commodity price increases while your usage remains constant, it will result in a higher bill. Remember that our rates are reviewed and approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission to ensure they are fair and set using our approved method.

During periods of extreme cold, we have seen customers' usage of natural gas increase as much as 35% from what's typical for a month. In addition, electricity usage can climb 15% higher than usual. If you have an air conditioner and extreme heat hits, your electricity bill may climb even higher. 

Natural gas usage, in particular, is highly seasonal. The average customer will use 20 GJ in the colder winter months, while that drops to as little as 2 GJ in the summer. But extreme cold can push that even higher. 

With warmer weather, electricity consumption may increase, especially if you have air conditioning. Even without AC, you may be running fans. Appliances like the fridge and freezer must work harder to stay cool. It's important to remember that on both hot and cold days, you do not need to adjust your thermostat to cool or heat your home faster.

The simplest way to reduce your energy bills is to reduce consumption. To help, we have put together several blogs on how to save energy.

Some simple ideas include:

  • Adjust the thermostat (down in the winter, up in the summer if you have air conditioning). Even a few degrees can make a significant difference. 

  • Lower or turn off the heat in unused space (Garage, storage, barn).

  • Check windows and doors for drafts and properly seal them. 

  • Turn off lights when not in use.

  • Invest in energy-efficient options (LED lightbulbs, programmable thermostats, etc.)

Didn't find the information you were looking for? We have more FAQs specifically for our regulated customers.  

Have a question about a plan or need help placing an order?

Call us: 1-866-374-6299

Hours: 7:00am - 9:00pm MST (Monday-Friday), 8:00am - 4:30pm MST (Saturday),
Closed Sundays

To enroll, you will need:

  •   To be the person named on the utility account
  •   Your service address
  •   Your billing address (if different)
  •   Your contact details including email address
  •   To be over the age of 18