Manitoba Hydro working to correct inaccurately estimated bills
August 3, 2018 — Manitoba Hydro says it is taking steps to address unusually high estimated bills for some customers where the escalation can’t be explained by increased cooling needs thanks to high summer temperatures.
By Ellen Cools
“What we are finding is the extraordinary temperatures across southern Manitoba this summer are affecting our estimate calculations for customers who don’t have a lot of meter readings associated with their accounts,” said Paul Chard, director of customer care, Manitoba Hydro.
“Without enough meter readings to establish a customer’s history of energy usage, our billing program puts more weight on weather factors, such as cooling load. However, the number of hot days this year is so far outside our system’s range of experience that, in some cases, it is generating estimates considerably higher than actual consumption,” Chard explained.
Those customers with newer accounts or accounts with less than eight meter readings in the last 24 months appear to be the ones generating incorrect estimates.
Starting the week of August 1, the company began manually reviewing any estimated residential bill over $400 and, if found to be out of the ordinary, adjusting the bill before sending it to a customer.
Customers who already received and paid a bill based on an incorrect estimate will see a correction in the next bill they get based on an actual meter reading.
Most Manitoba Hydro customers have their meter read or are asked to submit a meter reading every two months. Bills are based on estimated consumption in alternate months.
Any customer who has received a higher than expected estimated bill is encouraged to read their meter and call Manitoba Hydro at 204-480-5900 or 1-888-634-9376. Instructions for how to read a meter can be found at www.hydro.mb.ca under Accounts and Services.