Higher than normal energy bills ahead, OPALCO warns

Posted December 30, 2022 at 9:47 am by

OPALCO shares news about the impact of the recent stretch of cold weath­er on upcom­ing ener­gy bills.

Due to the extend­ed cold snap in Decem­ber, OPALCO mem­bers are going to see a big jump on their next pow­er bill. Extreme win­ter weath­er means our heat­ing sys­tems are work­ing hard­er to keep up. Even if you keep your ther­mo­stat the same, your sys­tem is run­ning more often and for longer peri­ods to keep up with the dif­fer­ence between the out­door and indoor tem­per­a­tures. The longer the cold spell, the hard­er the sys­tem works and the more elec­tric­i­ty you use.

On Dec. 22, OPALCO’s pow­er sys­tem had record-high ener­gy usage of 85+ megawatts. The last big peak dur­ing the 2021 cold spell was only 80+ MW.

Mem­bers can can track how much elec­tric­i­ty they are using in the SmartHub app. It shows hourly, dai­ly, and month­ly usage. Mem­bers can see the direct cor­re­la­tion between drop­ping temps and ris­ing elec­tri­cal usage. This can help you decide when to turn the ther­mo­stat down, close the doors to some of the rooms you aren’t using, or take oth­er win­ter work-arounds to keep your ener­gy bills down.

Anoth­er com­po­nent to pay atten­tion to is the ener­gy charge adjust­ment line item on the bill. Each month it can be a cred­it or a deb­it depend­ing on the pre­vi­ous month’s pow­er bill from OPALCO’s sup­pli­er, the Bon­neville Pow­er Admin­is­tra­tion. The ECA reflects the vari­a­tion in pow­er costs and kWh sales for the pre­vi­ous month, cal­cu­lat­ed by com­par­ing bud­get­ed to actu­al pow­er cost per kWh sold. This adjust­ment pro­tects mem­bers and the Co-op from large year-end true-ups. OPALCO expects a large demand charge from BPA for the Decem­ber pow­er bill due to the high demand. Mem­bers will like­ly see that on their Jan­u­ary bills as an addi­tion­al debit.

If you or some­one you know is strug­gling with win­ter pow­er bills, they can sign up for Project Pal and Ener­gy Assist. Now is also a great time to donate to Project Pal to help Co-op neigh­bors in need.

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Categories: Around Here

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