Winnipeg’s coldest winter since 1898 is cutting into just about everybody’s bottom line, with electricity bills up by an average of about 13 per cent, according to Manitoba Hydro.
And if you’re a gas customer, they’re up by about 15 per cent.
From December to March, this winter was the coldest on record since 1898, and everyone from business owners to home owners to churches are feeling the pinch financially as a result.
“Our bill — we were shocked. I was just shocked,” said Kristjan Kristjansson, the owner of the Round Table restaurant on Pembina Highway.
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Kristjansson upgraded the fireplaces in his restaurant to new, energy-efficient units before the winter hit, along with new furnaces and 120 new LED light fixtures.
He expected to see big savings on his energy bill, but instead, it went up by $5,000.
“Had we not done [the renovations] it could have been dramatic,” he said, “To the point of scary — financially scary.”
The restaurant’s head chef Ryan Martin said the same thing was happening at home. His hydro bill was up 40 per cent from the previous winter.
“February was my largest bill of the year, and it’s the shortest month!” said Martin, who paid $367 in February.
Over at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church on Walnut Street, congregation member Gerry Roeher said the worst month for them was January.
“That was a high bill alright,” said Roehr. He said heating bills went up by about 20 per cent over the whole season.
Back at the Round Table, Kristjansson is hoping for a long summer so patio season can help offset some of those high heating bills.