Extreme temperatures lead to higher energy usage, resulting in larger electric bills for members

Extreme temperatures lead to higher energy usage, resulting in larger electric bills for members

With the fluctuating winter temperatures of late 2017 and early 2018, some members have reported seeing their electric bill has more than doubled between December and January.

At WFEC, a record demand day was set on Jan. 17, as the day prior and the day of, saw temperatures drop to the single digits, accompanied by high north winds. Overnight lows ranged from 0 to 7 degrees across much of the state. When temperatures are this low or even into the teens, heating systems will use more energy. More energy usage is directly related to the cold weather, which at times, seemed to stick around for consecutive days.

It is the energy usage which has increased. No one has been arbitrarily charged any more. It is strongly suggested each member look closely at their bill as it should indicate the usage went up during December through January. All of the increase is a reflection of the extreme temperatures of that time frame.

Keeping a home warm and comfortable during cold winter days often results in the use of additional heating methods, such as heat lamps, tank heaters, space heaters, resistance backup heat and other high usage devices. While these options may be effective during short-term cold spells, they also directly impact the overall usage.

Temperatures in January 2018 were close to normal, but were 3.3 degrees colder than those of January 2017, which was 13 percent milder than normal. 

For six days in January 2018, high temperatures remained below freezing, with single digit temperatures as the low on most of these days. Four other days, saw temperatures only reach into the 30’s and 40’s. High winds were also an issue in January, which only added to the extreme conditions. Highest wind speed hit 43 mph, while 10 mph was the lowest recorded during the month.

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