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Electric bills spike due to frigid February

Posted on Friday, March 13, 2015 at 9:00 am

LOGO DuckRiverElectricSHELBYVILLE, Tenn. — Larger electric bills are on the way to Duck River EMC members for February use. Mother Nature is to blame.

The “Frigid February of 2015” brought two ice storms and a heavy snowfall to DREMC’s service territory. But the thermometer delivered extended low temperatures, too, making February colder than January and boosting demand for electricity to heat homes and buildings.

Member Services Director Steve Oden explains that heating degree days for the month were greater than January’s total.

“This makes February the coldest month of the winter, and electric bills will reflect the higher use,” he says.

A degree day is a measurement of demand for energy to heat or cool houses or businesses. Heating degree days reflect the negative difference between the mean daily temperature and a 65-degree Fahrenheit baseline.

Heating degree days for February totaled 905. This was 65 heating degree days greater than January’s total; 191 heating degree days higher than February of 2014; and 241 heating degree days more than an “average” February.

“Typically, January is the coldest month of winter in Middle Tennessee,” Oden says. “This year, February was colder. Heating systems had to work harder and use more electricity. Electric bills will be larger. In some cases, there could be a significant increase in the size of the bill.”

DREMC offers a variety of programs to help members become more energy efficient and better manage their use of electricity.

“Levelized billing is a great way to avoid spikes in the size of your monthly bill,” Oden notes, “and we now have a prepay program called PowerUP that gives the member a new tool for managing electricity use.”

Partnering with the Tennessee Valley Authority, DREMC is part of the eScore program, through which rebates and financing are available to make residences more energy efficient.

More than 13,800 DREMC members participate in Beat the Peak. This is a voluntary residential demand response program aimed at helping the co-op avoid higher wholesale energy costs during periods of extreme cold or heat.

More information on these programs is available on the DREMC website at <www.dremc.com>.

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