Like most people living in a part of the world whose climate includes noticeable winter, I’ve been dreading our heating bills for the coming winter. Our provincial government promised to keep the increase as low as possible, preferably 10% or less, but who has faith in government promises? Our neighbours immediately to the west are quite probably going to be facing a 40% increase, and the ones to the east have apparently been hit with a whopper, too. Can’t quote the figure for that one, but it must be pretty high, judging from the adjectives used in the newspaper. So, that didn’t do a whole lot for the confidence of we Manitobans, sandwiched between those two provinces.

But the government lived up to their promise this time … and then some. Woot! It was announced in the newspaper today that the increase will be 6.3%, or about an extra $6.75 per month for the average household. Never thought I’d see myself doing a happy dance about an increase in a utility bill, but this one has me feeling mighty relieved. Our natural gas consumption for the year is always a bit below the provincial average, so we’re probably looking at an increase of about a dollar per month less than the average. We’re on a monthly budget plan for our gas, which was just recalculated last month at $95.00 per month for the next year. Odds are that they won’t even recalculate our monthly billing amount now as we generally end up with a credit amount in our account by the end of the 12-month period. So, barring an unusually wicked winter, in which case another hike in February might be necessary, it’s not going to hurt anywhere near as much as anticipated.

In fact it won’t hurt at all for now as they reduced our budget by about $7.00 per month this time around. Quite surprising, really, as last winter was a corker in all ways. But we were more diligent about draught-proofing the house last autumn and I probably nagged about the thermostat setting a bit more than usual last winter, so I guess that must have made the difference. So, the increase now just puts us more or less back to what we’ve been used to for the past few years. The decrease would have been nice, but the status quo is fine.

Big sloppy kisses to Premier Doer and his cronies for having their acts together on this one and taking the appropriate steps in advance of the steep increase in gas prices. That alone is worth three votes next time around.

Now I guess I can let the shivering pair turn the thermostat up a couple of notches. Big gloppy splats of snow overnight and sleet showers today probably warrant warming up the indoors a tad.


4 thoughts on “Phew!

  1. Excellent news! I hope they stick to their promise and won't leave the Manitobans shivering in their homes during the 8-month-winter. 🙂

  2. We also had our first snow yesterday, but ours stayed and it is all nice and fluffy white out there at the moment. I predict it will be gone next week though since warmer weather is coming from the south, but still, i just love winter and snow… 🙂

  3. You've had snow alreay, Eleanor?! Thank goodness the gas price did not go up too much for heating. I'm straight out looking forward to paying the gas bill for only one home!

  4. No doubt your parents are just as delighted, Kinuk. Still marvelling at the small world where you and I are concerned. :)That was actually our second taste of snow, Maria. We had a nasty storm near the beginning of the month and that was waaaaay too early to enjoy the snow! This latest bit didn't stick around, either, which I'm just as happy about. Still have a couple of days' worth of jobs to finish up outside before winter comes to stay. But, like you, I don't mind winter when it's actually time for winter. By the end of it I get tired of snow and cold, but for a few months I don't mind it at all. Especially early on when everything looks so white and clean. I honestly couldn't imagine living in a part of the world that doesn't have four such distinct seasons. I suppose that I'd get used to it, but I know that I'd miss winter if I didn't have it. Remind me I said that come mid-February or so, ok? :)Wow, another reason to be ecstatic about the sale of your former home, Desiree! The thought of two mortgages made me cringe enough. I hadn't even considered the fact that you'd have two sets of utility bills to pay, too.

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