News & Events
Cold Weather Impacts Energy Use and Member’s Bills
Consumers throughout Lane County— including Blachly-Lane members— were hit with higher than average electricity bills following the cold weather in December and January.
Is there help for me?
Due to the high demand, Blachly-Lane’s Energy Share program is currently depleted of funds. County and Federal energy assistance programs are also reporting that their funds are exhausted. Generous member and employee donations continually come in to this program. We encourage qualifying members to check back as the funds replenish.
If you need more time to pay your higher-than-average bill following the cold weather, please contact our Member Service Representatives at 541-688-8711. We are happy to provide guidance on options, which may also include extended payment arrangements.
Blachly-Lane offers a Budget Billing Program to help balance out the seasonal high and low bills by making the monthly payments more predictable throughout the year. The program allows us to estimate an average payment based on the previous 12 months of actual usage. Read more about the Budget Billing program here.
We also encourage all members to take advantage of the Direct Install program. The energy savings you receive through LED bulbs, advanced power strips, and energy-saving shower heads can save you money now, and in the months and years ahead. Call 888-883-9879 to schedule your free in-home installation of these products, along with an assessment of other ways you may make energy saving improvements to your home.
I kept my thermostat the same - why is my bill higher?
When temperatures drop to freezing or below, heating systems must work much harder, resulting in higher electric usage. Even if you keep your thermostat at 68 degrees all year, you may see your electric bill increase dramatically after just a few days of freezing weather. *
The number of heating degree days soared in December and January. There were more than 20 days during that time when temperatures plummeted below freezing. Many heat pumps turn to backup electric resistance heating in such extreme cold to maintain warm temperatures indoors, and these systems can use up to three times as much electricity on the coldest days.
In addition, rates for residential members increased 6.9% on January 1, at the same time as some of the coldest weather. Current rates are 8.97 cents per kilowatt hour. The combination of extreme cold temperatures, heating systems having to work harder in general to keep up with the cold, and the 6.9% increase could all be reasons for your higher-than-average bill.
* As an example, Blachly-Lane Electric Cooperative’s headquarters energy use increased 47% in December and 23% in January over the same months last year.
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