If you own or rent a home in Kingston, you will need electricity for lights and appliances, water for drinking and cleaning, and natural gas or oil to heat your new home. Natural gas is also often used to power stoves and ovens, hot water heaters and indoor fireplaces.
Many Kingston homes are equipped with Smart Meters that record the amount of electricity, gas and water that is used at different times of the day. Utilities cost more during "peak hours" when many people are using appliances and heat. The purpose of Smart Meters is to encourage residents to lower their utility costs by avoiding peak hours.
Three companies currently provide electricity and natural gas in Kingston. See For More Information links below.
Canada operates on a 110-volt electrical system identical to the United States. Appliances that run on 220 volts generally won't work in standard Canadian electrical plugs unless they have a dual-control switch. Newcomers may find it more convenient to purchase appliances after they arrive in Canada.
Many residences in Kingston are heated with home heating oil or natural gas. Electricity is also often used to heat water and for home heating, as well as for lights and appliances. Some homes use wood-burning stoves as a source of heat.
If your home is heated with oil, you must arrange with a service company to provide oil for the furnace. It's important to ask the previous owner of your home for the name of the company they used. Home heating companies are also listed in the Yellow Pages of the phone book under "Oils-Fuel."
If you are renting an apartment or house and are responsible for paying your own heat, your landlord may be able to suggest a service company. The cost of heating your home or apartment will vary according to the type of fuel and the energy efficiency of your home and heating system.
All home owners, especially those with wood stoves and natural gas furnaces and appliances, are encouraged to install a carbon monoxide (CO) detector on every level. Carbon monoxide is an odourless gas that can cause serious health problems and lead to death.
City tap water is safe to drink in Kingston. The Ontario government regulates all municipal water systems in the province to ensure the water is free of bacteria and safe to drink.
Home owners and some tenants must pay for the water they consume every month. Sewage treatment costs are based on water usage. The majority of homes in Kingston obtain their water from Utilities Kingston, which provides city tap water. Residents of rural areas of the city may get their water from private wells and water systems or seasonal water supply systems.
For More Information
Information about electricity, natural gas, and water and how they are supplied and distributed in Kingston.
By the end of 2010, most homes and small businesses will have smart meters that record how much electricity is consumed and at what time of the day. Smart meters help property owners control their electricity use and lower their bills.
General information about Smart Meters, what they are, why use them, best strategies and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
Answers to commonly asked questions about natural gas service, location of the gas meter, and the cost of installing a gas service.
Answers to commonly asked questions about electrical consumption, inspections, power outages, terminology, voltage and circuit breakers.
A guide to understanding heating systems in Canadian homes and the cost of fuel. The use of thermostats to control temperature is explained.
Tips on how to conserve water, protect the environment, and save energy and money.
An online tool to calculate the annual cost of operating specific models of new clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, stoves, freezers, water coolers and other appliances.
Information and advice on how to better understand the electricity bill and how to file a complaint.
An introduction to drinking water in Ontario, with a link to Drinking Water Ontario, an online source of information for residents, students, laboratories and owners of private wells.
Information on how Ontario’s drinking water is protected and quality ensured, and how residents can help. Includes resources for teachers and students, a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and an online interactive map tool of municipal water systems and sources.
Main Ontario government website on drinking water in the province.