Online Guide for Newcomers to Prince Edward Island - Canada
Utilities and Services
There are a number of utilities or services that you can have in your new home in PEI. Some of them are essential, like water, heat and electricity, and some are not. Utilities and services include:
Take steps to conserve water and energy in your home - you will save money and help protect the environment. Here are some tips:
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- Turn off lights and appliances when you are not using them.
- Use cold or warm water to wash your clothes.
- Do not leave windows open when your home is heated in winter (even if heat cost is included in your rent).
- If you are buying your own appliances, choose energy-efficient ones.
- Shut the water off while brushing your teeth.
The company delivering electricity in PEI is Maritime Electric. When you buy or rent a home, you need to set up an account with Maritime Electric. You can visit their office or call them. First-time customers usually have to pay a security deposit and connection fee for the electrical service. The deposit is returned after a certain period of time if bills are paid regularly on time.
The amount you pay for electricity each month depends on how much you consume.
Sometimes the electricity may shut off due to stormy weather conditions, but very rarely and usually only for a short time.
Heat and Hot Water
- Oil furnaces are the most common way to heat homes in PEI.
- You should have your oil furnace, wood stove, propane stove, and chimney cleaned and checked annually by a professional to make sure they are operating properly. This can help prevent fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. If you are renting, your landlord is usually responsible for maintenance of heating system.
- People often have a propane or wood stove as a backup source of heat in case power goes out in winter. Oil furnaces require electricity to run.
In PEI there are different ways to heat your home:
- Oil Furnace: If you own your home, or if you are renting a house and the heat is not included in your rent, you will have to find an oil company which will make regular oil deliveries to your home. If you are renting an apartment in a building heated with an oil furnace, the heat is usually included in your rent.
- Electricity: If you use electric heat, your heating cost will be included in your electricity bill. If you are renting, this is usually not included in your rent.
- Wood Stove: Some people install wood stoves to heat their homes and hot water. You must have an approved stove that is installed properly if you want to be covered by homeowners insurance.
- Propane Stove or Heater: Some people use propane stoves or heaters to cut back on oil or electrical heat consumption. Propane stoves or heaters must be installed properly and approved if you want to be covered by homeowners insurance.
In PEI, the most common way to heat hot water is as part of the home heating system, regardless to the system type. The cost will be included in your rent if heating is included.
Water and Sewer
House owners must have an account with the municipal water and sewer utility in their city or town in order to get water and sewer services. If your house is in the country, outside cities or towns, it may have to have its own well and septic system. If you are renting a house, your landlord, the property owner is responsible for the cost of water and sewer services, and this is included in your rent.
Telephone companies often offer bundles or packages that may include telephone, Internet connection, and cable or satellite television. They may also offer cellular phone service as part of a bundle.
Most households in Canada have a landline telephone. You need to set up an account with a telephone company, whether you own or rent a home. Telephone service is never included in your rent.
Many people in PEI have Internet service in their homes. It is useful for information, entertainment, keeping in touch with friends and family, and looking for a job. If you have a computer and want to connect to the Internet, you need an account with an Internet service provider.
Cable or Satellite Television
Most people in Canada own a television set. You may be able to receive two or three channels for free using a small antenna sitting on your television. To get more channels you need an account with a cable or satellite TV service.