Manitoba Hydro bills can be difficult to understand, as they contain a great deal of information about both your electricity and natural gas section. We will try to make this information a little clearer by breaking down the most important elements step by step.
Account Summary Section
The most important elements of this section are previous charges and credits, new charges, amount due, and the due date.
Previous charges and credits indicates how much money you owed on your previous bill, the amount that you paid on it, and the remaining balance that was rolled forward into your current bill. If you completely paid off your bill, you will have a balance forward of $0. Otherwise, you will have an initial balance, to which the current month’s charges will be added.
New charges is a breakdown of how much you owe for the electricity and natural gas you used during the current billing cycle.’
Amount due is what you owe after adding your balance forward to what you owe for the current billing cycle.
The due date is the deadline for paying your bill.
In this section, the relevant pieces of information are as follows:
The service from and to indicates the beginning and end dates for the current billing cycle, with days stating the number of days within the cycle.
Meter readings lists what your electricity meter read when it was last checked, and what the most recent reading was.
The kWh section states how many kilowatt-hours of electricity you used during the billing cycle, as calculated by subtracting the previous meter reading from the current reading.
The basic charge is a flat fee you are charged to help cover the cost of maintaining the energy grid.
The energy charge is what you owe for the electricity you used, as calculated by multiplying the kilowatt-hours you used by the current price per kWh.
The subtotal is the sum of the basic charge and energy charge. Below that you will find an itemized list of the taxes levied on your electricity, including city taxes, provincial taxes, GST, and the GST on the city tax owed.
The electricity charge is the total cost, including taxes, of your electricity service for the current billing cycle.
If you have signed up for an equal payment plan, below the electricity charge you will see an EPP installment, which is the previously negotiated flat rate you pay each month, regardless of your electricity charge. It is very likely that this will not be the same as your electricity charge.
Natural Gas Section
The natural gas section of your Manitoba Hydro bill is very similar to the electricity section, with service dates, meter readings, usage, and other headings and sections being identical. We will focus on the key differences.
Next to usage, you will see a base pressure adjustment, a number by which your measured usage is multiplied to give a more accurate estimate of your usage. This is because the volume of natural gas changes according to the temperature. The base pressure adjustment ensures you are not over- or under-charged. Next to this is the metric conversion factor, which is used to convert your meter’s imperial measurement units to metric. This multiplication yields your usage as measured in cubic metres.
Below the basic charge, you will find primary gas (Centra), which is a charge for natural gas that was received from Western Canada. If you purchase your gas from a retailer, this will be indicated. Below is supplemental gas, which is a charge for natural gas purchased by Manitoba Hydro to ensure that there is adequate supply in times of high demand. Manitoba Hydro states that on average, supplemental gas comprises about 5% of a customer’s total usage. Your usage will be divided up between the primary and supplemental gas section in the appropriate ratio, with the current charge per cubic metre for each type of gas being assessed.
Below you will find transportation to Centra and distribution to customer, which are charges assessed to cover the cost of delivering natural gas to your home or business.
As with electricity, taxes are added, with natural gas charges being the total amount owed for the current billing cycle. If you have an equal payment plan, the EPP installment charge will be shown below, which is what is actually owed on the current bill.
If you have an equal payment plan, your bill will include a brief summary of the entire billing cycle. The beginning of the EPP year is the month in which your payment plan started.
Installments billed indicates how much you have been billed for, according to the terms of the plan. This will be equal to the number of months since the plan started, multiplied by the installment amount.
Next you will see use, which is what is owed for the electricity and natural gas you have actually used. Difference indicates the difference between what you’ve been billed for, and the amount owed for your usage. If this number is positive, that means that you currently have a credit—you have more than paid off what you actually owe. If this number is negative, this means that your EPP payments are not keeping up with the pace of your usage, and at the end of the yearly billing cycle—end of EPP year indicates what month this will be—you will be provided with a ‘settle up’ bill for the remaining balance owed. If it appears that you usage is continuously outpacing your installment plan, it is recommended that you contact Manitoba Hydro and ask for an adjustment in your EPP, in order to protect against being hit with an expensive settle up bill at the end of the billing year.
This is a brief summary of the entirety of your electricity and natural gas usage since the yearly billing cycle started. Use this year indicates the span of months which the summary covers, and the amount of electricity and natural gas used, as measured in kWh and cubic metres, respectively. Days in period indicates the number of days included in the summary. Use per day this year gives an average of how much electricity and natural gas you have used, per day.
To give you a baseline against which to measure, use last year states the total amount of electricity and natural gas you used during the same time period the previous year. You will also find a count of the days in period last year, and the average use per day last year. Lastly, you will find figures for your total use for the last twelve months. These last figures can be very helpful for calculating an appropriate EPP monthly payment, so that you don’t over- or under-pay.