Arctic Air Leads To Higher Bills
While the brutally cold and snowy winter is nearly over, you may still be recovering from the chill of your winter electric bills. Your Co-op's call center has been flooded with inquiries from members wondering why electric bills for January, and especially February, are much higher than normal. This was not the result of a rate increase (our rates remain the lowest in the state) or faulty meters. Instead, high bills were the result of one of the coldest seasons on record.
In fact, this past February will go down as the third coldest on record. Temperatures stayed below freezing most of the month and some locations even saw temperatures dip below zero. If your home's heating source is electric, it took a lot more electricity to keep your house warm this winter. The average high temperature for February was just 36 degrees. Last February, the average high temperature was a comparative balmy 44 degrees. The eight-degree difference means you likely used a lot more energy to heat your home.
That is especially true if you heat your home with a heat pump. Heat pumps don't work as efficiently when temperatures fall below freezing. When outdoor temperatures fall into the lower 20s, your heat pump may also need to use an auxiliary or emergency heat source to warm your home. The auxiliary heat element uses a lot of energy and many of the high bill complaints we received this year were from members using heat pumps. While sealing air leaks in your home can help lower your bill, folks with heat pumps should leave the thermostat set to a constant temperature during the winter months. This ensures your system works efficiently, saving you the most money.
To analyze your energy use and find ways to save, click HERE. (You'll need your account number found on your bill.)
Should you have any questions about your electric bill, please give us a call at 855-332-9090. Let's hope next winter is much warmer!