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Cold Weather Impacts Electric Bills
January 4, 2017

It’s been cold in Clallam County the past several weeks, which unfortunately means utility bills will likely higher as a result. While it is not uncommon for utility bills to be higher this time of year due to weather, this particular year has been colder than last year so customers need to be prepared.

Higher than normal bills at this time of year are strictly a result of cold weather, and this year has been colder than usual. Just take a look at the first 21 days of December this year compared to last year:

  • For 2015, the average daily temperature was 42F
    • The PUD’s electric system power usage was 49,904,190 kWh
  • For 2016, the average daily temperature was 33F
    • The PUD’s electric system power usage was 60,159,453 kWh

The increased usage is 21% higher in 2016 than it was 2015 for the same time period. But, that percentage represents all PUD customers, residential and commercial. Residential customers alone used 26% more energy this year compared to last year for that same period.

Weather does matter and it does impact your bill, but there are steps that can be taken to mitigate higher bills during cold spells. What can you do? Be prepared and take advantage of the energy efficiency programs and incentives offered by the PUD. The PUD’s programs include Duct Sealing, High Efficiency Replacement Windows, High Efficiency Heat Pumps, and Ductless Heat Pumps. Learn more by clicking here.

Additionally, if you are having difficulty paying your bill there are options such as low income senior citizen discounts, low income disabled discounts, and assistance through local community action agencies. Click here for more information.

NOTE:  While the PUD did increase residential electric rates an average of approximately 3.8% on bills rendered on or after April 1, 2017, which is only about $4.48 per month for the average PUD residential customer (1200 kWh/month), that coming increase is not the cause of higher winter bills. Commissioners and staff purposely waited to implement the increase until after the colder months.