Cold Snap and Members’ Bills
Artic air blasting into South Central Kentucky in recent weeks has brought with it bitter winds, cold temperatures, snow and ice. All of those together can potentially mean higher electric bills for Warren RECC members.
Weather, especially cold weather, affects residential energy bills more than any other factor and electric cooperatives across Kentucky are reporting double-digit increases in energy use compared to this same period one year ago.
As temperatures get colder, heating systems run longer and work harder to maintain warmth within our homes. If the outside temperature is 50 degrees, heating systems might only need to run for a few minutes each hour in order to maintain the temperature inside the house. Once temperatures drop to near or below zero, heating systems have to run more often and longer to maintain inside temperatures. This increased energy usage leads to higher than normal electric bills for our members.
With the National Weather Service continuing to predict chilly temperatures, Warren RECC is encouraging members to be aware of their energy usage and take steps to help manage their electric bills which are already expected to be higher due to recent weather events. Fortunately, there are several simple things customers can do to help lessen the burden of a higher bill.
Warren RECC has a variety of options to assist members with controlling their energy use. The eScore program is an exciting new program developed through a partnership between the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and electric providers. eScore provides homeowners a simple way to make existing homes as energy efficient as possible. Warren RECC also offers services such as levelized billing, which is an “averaged” electric bill to help members budget for their electric bills throughout the year. Additionally, WRECC offers rebates for replacing heating, cooling, and hot water systems with more efficient models.
Consumers can also take some simple conservation steps to help lower their electric bills:
- Find and seal all air leaks. Check for cracks near doors and windows, gaps around pipes and chimneys, and any unfinished areas. Plug leaks with weather-stripping, caulk, or expandable foam.
- Set your thermostat to 68 degrees, or install a programmable thermostat.
- Close blinds and curtains at night; if sunny, open them during the day.
- Cover drafty windows yourself with easy, effective, and inexpensive shrink-to-fit plastic.
- Turn off lights when not in use. Replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs, which use at least 75 percent less energy.
- Lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, if your heater is electric.
- Wash clothes in cold water, and use cold-water detergent whenever possible.
- Keep your garage door closed for a warmer garage in winter, and cooler garage in summer.
“Warren RECC is to be commended for its pro-active actions to help members deal with the cold and a spike in energy use,” said Chris Perry, president and CEO of the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives. “Co-ops are committed to improving the quality of life in Kentucky. At this time of year, it means both helping members stay warm and helping them manage their energy use.”