January Average Daily Temperature

Many of our members may have a high bill due to the recent prolonged cold snap. We know this could be tough for many of you. Unfortunately, the extreme temperature fluctuations reflects directly on your energy bill. The lower the temperatures, the higher the usage.

Our system energy usage peak occurred between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. on January 17.  The total demand during that hour was 536 MW.  This was an all-time record for First Electric for either summer or winter demand.  For reference, our peak last summer was 408 MW, which occurred on July 22 between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.   It will be many, many years before we see a summer demand anywhere close to the demand we set this winter.

Ways to pay

First Electric offers many ways to pay your bill and help ease the sticker shock.

• Check your daily usage and pay by SmartHub.

• Use levelized billing so you know what amount to expect each month.

• Available for those who qualify, extended due dates are available to help during times of need.

Prepaid billing options allow you to pay in advance with no penalties for paying late and no fees for reconnecting service.

Ways to save

With electric heating using the largest share of electricity dollars during cold winter days, we recommend setting the thermostat no higher than 68 degrees when people are home and lowering the setting it a degree or two more when they are away.

Change your air filters often. A clogged filter makes the heating system work even harder.

Open drapes or blinds on sunny winter days to allow the sun's rays to warm the house, but close them at night.

Even with lowered thermostat settings and other energy-saving measures, please be aware of the increased work put on heating systems during extremely cold weather that will require more energy use.