February's Arctic Blast Results in Higher than Normal Usage

CREWE, Va – As members of SEC receive their electric bills this month, many will notice some higher-than-normal numbers.  We certainly sympathize with our members, knowing that many must make tough choices when paying higher bills during the winter time.  February 2015 saw historic lows; for instance, in Powhatan temperatures plummeted to as low as -4° on February 20th. The area’s historical average low is normally 30°.  Accordingly, SEC’s all-time system peak also occurred on February 20, 2015, with a peak demand of 327,271 kW.  SEC’s previous all-time system peak occurred during the Polar Vortex the previous year, in January 2014, with a peak demand of 305,075 kW.

The number of heating “degree days” were 28% above average for the month of February 2015.  This drove the corresponding higher-than-average usage by our membership.  SEC delivered 112M kWhs to our members in February of 2015 which is 29.5% above the 88M kWh average of the three previous years.

SEC encourages members to take advantage of the various tools and applications provided through membership in the co-op.  SmartHub, SEC’s online account management system, can be accessed here: https://sec.smarthub.coop.  It provides daily usage and other features that may help members monitor their energy consumption.  Additionally, SEC offers an online home energy audit tool here: www.sec.coop/HomeEnergySuite.  SEC also offers free in-home energy audits to any member who is concerned about high energy usage.  Simply contact a member services representative @ 1-800-552-2118 to set up an appointment.

SEC offers various payment options to accommodate different needs. Members may want to take advantage of the Budget Billing program where members can choose fixed plan that adjusts twice a year, or a variable plan with a rolling average each month. This levelized average approach may help to take the sting out of high bills.

Additional Resources

·      http://www.rtoinsider.com/cold-pjm-winter-record-13199/

·      http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/powhatan-va/23139/february-weather/336283?monyr=2/1/2015

 

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