A&N Electric Cooperative (ANEC) is reporting higher-than-normal energy usage throughout the service area for the first week of 2018.

Since the holiday break, subfreezing temperatures have lingered for days and are expected throughout the month of January. This will force cooperative members to use more electricity to heat their homes and businesses. The Cooperative is warning that the additional energy consumption will lead to higher electricity bills.

“Weather can dramatically affect a co-op member’s electricity bill,” said ANEC’s Director of Billing, Lori Shreaves. “We want our members to understand that the severe cold weather and their energy usage during that time is what is behind the higher bills.”

On average, temperatures were nearly 20 degrees below their historical averages for those first eight days of the year in our area, according to the National Weather Service.

ANEC members used more electricity than normal during that time. A member that consumed about 125 kWh per day last year during the same time period could see consumption levels of 183 kWh or higher per day this year based on ANEC’s overall daily load for the first week of the year, a usage increase of about 46 percent.

“The recent snow storm didn’t help matters,” said Jay Diem, communications specialist for ANEC. “Heating units ran those days without much relief. In addition to that, the weather forced people to stay indoors during those days they couldn’t go to work or to school. When people can’t go outside they also tend to use more electricity by utilizing electronic devices to stay occupied.”

PJM Interconnection, a regional transmission organization the coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in 14 states including Virginia, recorded two of its top 10 winter peaks demands during the eight-day span, one on Jan. 5 and the other on Jan. 3. PJM noted that demand for electricity was over 136,000 megawatts for each of those days. Delmarva’s regional demands were reflective of PJM’s demands during those peaks.

Members can take steps to help reduce their energy usage the remainder of the month to help mitigate the impact on their electricity bill.

The Cooperative suggests having a certified technician check your heating system annually to make sure it is running efficiently. Members are also urged to check their homes for air leaks or to consider hiring a professional to help properly seal their homes. Setting your home’s thermostat to a maximum of 68 degrees in the winter and lowering it a few degrees when you go to bed or leave the house for a while can help curtail your home’s energy usage.

More energy savings tips can be found at www.anec.com under the “Energy Savings” tab. Or call our Member Services department to learn more about our Budget Billing program and to see if you qualify.

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