An electricity price shock is about to hit — and local hydro utilities are warming up a campaign to tell consumers it’s not their fault.

Householders who haven’t locked in a rate through a retailer can expect to see the price of power jump by up to 16 per cent on their next bill.

On top of that, this summer’s hot weather is driving up the amount of electricity that many households are using.

Utilities like Toronto Hydro and Powerstream are already busy getting the message out to consumers that higher bills are on the way.

And the Electricity Distributors Association, which represents local hydro utilities across the province, is sending information packages to members this week advising them how to explain the price jumps as consumers open their bills.

Local utilities are especially sensitive to the price increases because they’re the ones who bill on behalf of all the players in the electricity market, although they get less than 25 per cent of the total revenue.

At the same time, the local utilities are trying to point out that most of the money goes to generating companies (a little more than half the bill), transmission companies like Hydro One, and for regulatory charges, including the left-over debt from the old Ontario Hydro.