The fact is, it's going to be -40 C in Montreal soon no matter how much you cry about it. And arguably, one of the worst parts of winter is getting smacked with a huge Hydro-Québec bill just because you wanted to stay warm in your own house. 

If you've ever wondered how you can save money on your Hydro bill this winter, MTL Blog has got you covered because we spoke to the experts. 

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How is my Hydro bill calculated?

Hydro-Québec rates are based on your kilowatt-hours (kWh), the "unit of energy used by an electrical device during a given period," over a consumption period.

According to Hydro, you're billed based on a two-tier system (these rates are applicable to residential customers if the power demand for the last 12 months was "was less than 65 kilowatts")*:

  • "6.08¢/kWh for energy consumed up to 40 kWh per day times the number of days in the consumption period (1st tier)," and

  • "9.38¢/kWh for the remaining energy consumed (2nd tier)."

The example Hydo uses is this: "if your consumption period covers 62 days, 2,480 kWh (40 kWh per day × 62 days = 2,480 kWh) will be billed at the first-tier price. Any remaining energy consumption will be billed using the second-tier price."

According to a Hydro spokesperson, winter's "peak hours" are between 6 and 9 a.m. and 4 and 8 p.m.

The amount varies slightly from one billing period to the next, depending on the amount of energy you're consuming. 

What consumes the most energy?

Did you know that, according to Hydro, an improperly insulated window contributes to you losing 25% of your heat? 

Fortunately for you, sealing up a window for the winter is inexpensive and relatively easy. Hydro recommends just getting some caulking or some insulating plastic sheets. 

As heating makes up for up to 54% of your energy charges, why would you accept losing so much all because of a leaky window? 

If leaky windows weren't bad enough, Hydro explains that "phantom power" and other plugged-in appliances account for up to 10% of your charges.

Using hot water also adds another 20% to your bill, the company says. 

Here's how to save money on electricity

No, don't take cold showers and unplug everything before you go to sleep — that's just silly. There are much better ways to save big bucks. 

Hydro-Québec recommends sealing those windows up as soon as the temperature starts to drop and trying to regulate your heating consumption outside peak hours. 

Make sure to look for energy-efficient products when you're out shopping. Something as simple as getting LED light bulbs or changing to a low-flow showerhead can help you lower your bill. 

Hydro-Québec is also trying out this project called Dynamic Pricing, which rewards people for using electricity outside of peak hours during the winter months.

And if you're still worried about a huge bill, Hydro has a handy Equalized Payments Plan, where you can pay the same price every month based on an "[estimation of] your annual electricity cost."

*This article has been updated.

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