Higher electric bills expected due to cold weather

Higher electric bills expected due to cold weather

Historic weather 

Historically cold weather swooped into North America in February breaking temperature records across the Midwest. We asked you to work together to conserve power to stabilize the grid and would like to thank you for your efforts. We love to see our members helping each other. 

High bills are possible

By far, the single biggest variable to your energy bill is the temperature. The larger the difference between outdoor temperature and room temperature, the more energy that is required to keep you and your family comfortable. Milder weather is here, thank goodness, but you should make yourself aware of how this cold snap affected your energy consumption. Remember that you can see your daily temperatures vs your energy use in the Usage History Tab on your account at ebiz.craigheadelectric.coop.

ebiz my usage graph
My usage graph on the ebiz portal

Due to the strong relationship between temperature and energy use, many of our residential members’ February 2021 energy use will be the highest seen in recent years. Note there has been no electric rate increase during that time. Increased energy use for space heating is the main driving factor behind higher electric bills this winter. Remember that members are typically billed a month behind, so January and February energy use is paid for in March and April respectively. 

High Fuel Cost?

Another consideration is the fuel cost adjustment. The fuel cost adjustment (FCA) line item on your bill usually does not get much attention until it goes up. This line item is the mechanism through which Craighead Electric Cooperative recuperates the variable cost of generation fuel. This fee is collected at-cost. No profit is made by Craighead Electric from this line item.

The FCA is expected to go up in March due to the scarcity of generation fuel (coal, natural gas, solar, wind, etc.) in February and could affect March and/or April bills. For example, in one instance the spot price of one unit (mmbtu) of Natural Gas went up 1000% from $2 to over $20 during the cold snap. More information about a potentially high FCA will be available in early March once Craighead Electric receives its electric bill from its power provider, Arkansas Electric Cooperative. Learn more about the FCA at craigheadelectric.coop/fuel-cost-adjustment

Payment Assistance

We have several options to help you pay your electric bill such as delayed payment agreements and bill extensions. Levelized billing is also available to average spikes and lulls in usage over a 12-month period. Please contact us to discuss a payment plan that you are comfortable with.  We also partner with local organizations, such as, CRDC, BRAD, who aid those affected by unprecedented events. Find more information about payment assistance programs on our website: craigheadelectric.coop/payment-assistance

Energy Efficiency

The best defense you can have against wild swings in the weather and fuel cost is weatherization and energy efficiency. If you would like to know more about increasing the energy efficiency of your home or have concerns about your bill, please contact us or visit our website at craigheadelectric.coop/energy-efficiency