The number of Manitobans falling behind on their hydro bills is growing rapidly.
According to Manitoba Hydro, backlogs have increased over the past two months from approximately 78,000 customers to 80,000 customers, a 3% increase in cases.
“Well, we’ve seen the total arrears and that includes not only residential accounts but also commercial accounts,” Manitoba Hydro spokesman Scott Powell told 680 CJOB Friday afternoon.
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“The total increase is about $5 million in that arrears figure.”
Hydro says they offer a number of financial support programs when money is a little tight.
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“We have our customer arrears support plan, which we can work with customers to provide an easy-to-manage monthly payment,” Powell said.
“Basically, we update them on their monthly bills, then set up a payment plan on the outstanding balance, and have people call us to set that up.
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“The other thing we encourage all customers to do is to really consider getting involved in our equal payment program, and that’s where we take your energy costs from both the gas and oil side. electricity and that they are averaged.”
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According to Powell, cutting off someone’s power is the last resort.
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“We have a self-imposed moratorium. We don’t disconnect people from the fall until about mid-April,” he said. “It’s a life or death situation if you have electric heat.”
Hydro encourages its customers to contact Hydro whenever there is a financial problem.
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“The best thing people can do if they have payment issues or are having trouble paying their bills is to contact us, either online, by phone, or by emailing our credit department,” he said. said Powell.
“The worst thing you can do is just ignore her and hope she goes away.”
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