Electric Power Selling Price Indexes for Non-residential Customers (EPSPI)

Detailed information for January to April 2010




3 times per year

Record number:


The Electric Power Selling Price Index (EPSPI) is a monthly series measuring the price movements of sales of electricity by distributors to commercial and industrial users; the estimates are produced three times per year.

Data release - May 31, 2010


The Electric Power Selling Price Index (EPSPI) is a monthly series measuring the price movements of sales of electricity by distributors to commercial and industrial users; the estimates are produced three times per year. The index is a useful measure of the change in the cost of electric power to the non-residential customer.

Reference period: The time period for which the EPSPI equals 100; currently this is the year 1997.

Collection period: Three times a year (i.e. for April, August and December).


  • Energy
  • Nuclear and electric power
  • Prices and price indexes

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The universe for the EPSPI consists of all major generating and distributing utilities for each province in Canada.

Instrument design

Commodity specialists mostly collect price data through the form of a mail-out price report. The report is very basic in nature, containing detailed specifications for the product as supplied by the respondent and asking for a corresponding price. The price report was developed in the mid 1980's by Prices Division analysts and systems programmers, as well as the feedback received from respondents.


This is a sample survey with a longitudinal design.

In the provinces where the electricity market is regulated, the sample is in fact a census. For Alberta and Ontario, where the markets are now deregulated, the sample of establishments surveyed was chosen in order to include the municipalities with the larger revenues from electricity generation in 1992.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

The collection of price information is carried out by a mail out of price reports to respondents. Follow-up by telephone is done, where necessary, to obtain late or missing information.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

All responses are checked by the commodity specialist and incorrect or suspicious data is verified with the respondent.


Imputation is generally carried out for missing data. In any given pricing period, there will be price reports that are missing, due to the fact that respondents are late reporting. In this situation, either the last reported price quotation will be carried forward or an estimate will be made based on other information (e.g. using other responses as a proxy).



The weights for the EPSPI are derived from 1992 company revenues from sales of electricity.


The prices reported by respondents are for non-interruptible power contracts with manufacturing, service and other Canadian industrial customers. This consists of two broad industrial categories of sales, less than 5000kW and 5000kW or more.

Free on board plant selling prices of electricity are obtained using selected bills collected monthly from all major generating and distributing utilities. The number of specified prices (bills) selected from each respondent is determined by the degree of price dispersion. The prices collected are actual transaction prices from each respondent. Specifications of particular transactions are provided by the respondents.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Collected data are converted to price indexes and data are released as such, so that it is not possible to identify the suppliers of raw prices.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

Indexes for the current year and the previous year are subject to revision.

Data accuracy

The statistical accuracy of the EPSPI depends on price data and weight information. Price data are obtained from a sample survey, while the weights are estimated using 1992 company revenues from sales of electricity. Both kinds of input data are subject therefore to their own errors.

The quality of the finalized price is high, as a 97% response rate is obtained from the respondents.

Though the EPSPI uses a sample survey methodology to obtain the necessary information, confidence intervals are not currently estimated, due to the longitudinal nature of price index series. Indexes for higher and lower levels of aggregation are considered to be statistically reliable.


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