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Reasons for a high bill

Does something on your bill not seem right? Nobody likes a high bill — let's see if we can get the bottom of it.

There are many reasons your bill could be higher than expected. Some are things you can control (like running appliances and cooking), and others you can’t (like extreme temperatures outside straining your furnace or air conditioning).

Weather changes

Weather changes

Extreme temperatures

Weather has a large impact on your bill. Heating and cooling alone can be more than 60% of your energy use. At times of extreme heat or cold, you will use more energy to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. This is because your heating and cooling systems need to work harder and run longer to keep that set temperature. Turning up the thermostat won’t heat your home any faster, but it will increase your energy bill.

Understand your energy use

Here’s the breakdown for how we consume electricity and natural gas in Manitoba homes based on data from the Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) National Energy Use Database:

Chart that breaks down the typical energy usage in a residential home.

Keep track of your energy use and understand how your bill may change each month. Your online account allows you to view your Usage history to see how weather affects your bill and use the Compare tool to see how your energy use compares to last year.

Billing changes

Billing changes

Meter readings

There are 3 types of readings on your bill. Your bill can be higher or lower based on the type of reading:

  • actual: the reading was done by Manitoba Hydro or a contract meter reader.
  • estimated: the reading that is based on your energy use from the year before.
  • customer: you’ve read and submitted your meter reading.

If last year’s winter was warmer than this year’s, your estimates will be low. When you are billed for an actual reading, your bill may seem higher than average to make up for the difference between the 2 readings.

You can see if you were charged for an estimated, actual, or customer meter reading on page 2 of your energy bill.

An example of the portion of the bill where it shows it was an estimated bill.

Avoid surprise bills by submitting regular meter readings online or through the Manitoba Hydro app.

Billing period

You are usually billed for the energy you use every 30 days. We show you the dates and number of days you were billed for so you can keep track. If your energy use seems higher than you're used to, look at the total number of days in your billing period. A bill for more than 30 days can happen for a few reasons like if your bill has been adjusted or for an initial or final bill.

You’ll find the breakdown of your electricity and natural gas charges, including details about your billing period, on page 2 of your energy bill. Learn how to read your bill.

Find the billing period

In this example, the billing period is for service used from July 14 until August 15, totaling 32 days.

An example of the portion of the bill where it shows how many days were billed during this period.

Rate changes & federal carbon charge

Our electricity and natural gas rates are regulated by the Public Utilities Board of Manitoba (PUB). Natural gas rates are reviewed quarterly in February, May, August, and November. Increases to electricity and natural gas rates will make your bill higher even if you use the same amount of energy as you did previously. Learn more about electricity and natural gas rates.

If you heat your home or business with natural gas, your bill will also be affected by increases to the federal carbon charge. Learn about the federal carbon charge and how it affects your natural gas bill.

Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes

Household & lifestyle changes

When it comes to your home or business, how much energy you use depends on your needs. These are some activities that can increase your energy use:

  • working from home;
  • more people staying in your house;
  • spending more time at home;
  • doing more cooking, laundry, and using more electronics.

Renovations

Renovating your home can make your bill higher than usual. Power tools and open walls or windows can use more energy.

Appliances

Adding appliances such as air conditioners, hot tubs, pool heaters, baseboard/portable heaters, televisions, computers, or kitchen and laundry appliances can increase the amount of energy you use. The condition of your furnace and other appliances can also affect energy use. Older appliances typically use more energy even if they’re well-maintained. If you’re looking to upgrade your appliances, read our purchasing tips.

Appliances that are always plugged in can also contribute to using standby power, which can account for up to 10% of all electricity used in a home. Learn more about how your appliances and electronics affect your bill.

How to manage your energy bill

Get accurate meter readings

Payment options to help manage your energy bill

Find ways to save energy & reduce your bill

  • Finance your energy efficient upgrades.
    We offer convenient on-bill loans and financing.
  • Save on energy upgrades for your home.
    Visit the Efficiency Manitoba website to learn about rebates and offers. Take their virtual energy review to find out how your home uses energy.

If you still have questions, contact us.