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Hydro Warns to Clear Snow from Around Meters to Avoid ‘Estimated’ Readings

February 2, 2017 6:59 AM | News

Hydro Tower

A hydro tower is shown in Toronto on Wednesday, November 4, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese)

WINNIPEG — If you want to avoid an estimated bill from Manitoba Hydro, the public utility is asking you to clear snow from around electric and natural gas meters.

Thousands of residential meters weren’t read between late December and mid-January due to two major winter storms bringing record amounts of snow to southern Manitoba. Excess drifting has also made it difficult for Hydro staff to access meters.

“Without a timely reading, many customers will see an estimated bill with the potential for receiving a very high ‘catch-up’ bill once our meter readers have safe access to meters and can get a verified reading,” said Pamela Vernaus, general manager of Manitoba Hydro Utility Services.

Some of the most affected areas include:

  • Fort Garry, St. Norbert, Oak Bluff, LaSalle and Sanford;
  • Transcona, Oakbank, Lorette and Île-des-Chênes;
  • West Kildonan and West St. Paul;
  • St. James and Headingley.

Vernaus said depending on the billing cycle, some customers may not get a reading for five months if they were missed by readers in December and the meter is still not accessible in Feburary. Meters missed in December are scheduled to be read in February while meters missed in January are not scheduled be read until March. Manitoba Hydro reads meters every two months.

Hydro says meter readers are working overtime to keep up with readings. Customers are asked to clear a path to their meter if they’re able to do so.

Customers can also report their own readings online or by calling (204) 453-6712 in Winnipeg or 1-800-652-4490 toll-free.