Understanding the Basic Charge

February 01, 2020

Whether you use one, 100, or 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, there are expenses that don’t vary based on the amount of electricity you use. These fixed costs account for 52.7% of all Salem Electric costs. Every bill includes a basic charge to help cover the fixed costs required to deliver electricity. Included in the basic charge are taxes, poles, wires, equipment, trucks, labor, and billing systems, all of which must be in place to provide safe, reliable electricity and the service you’ve come to expect. A survey of other electric utilities in Oregon shows residential basic charges range from $9.50 to $53 per month.


Effective October 1, 2019, Salem Electric’s basic charge fees are as follows:
Residential Basic Charge $20.00
General Service Basic Charge (no demand meter) $35.00
General Service Basic Charge (demand meter) $42.00