Winter cold snaps leading to higher gas, electric bills

AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — As customers open their gas and electric bills this month, they might be caught off guard by the higher bill.

Utility companies are reminding customers this winter season has brought several arctic blasts to Central Texas which dropped temperatures into the teens in January–the coldest air to hit the area in several years. According to ERCOT, on Wednesday, Jan. 17 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., Texans used the most energy ever in the state at 65,731 MW.

Bluebonnet Electric says the prolonged temperatures at or below freezing had a direct impact on how much customers used last month

“We constantly monitor how much energy our members are using. When we see temperatures that low for that long, we always see a spike in the amount of energy homes use and an increase in electric bills,” said Matt Bentke, Bluebonnet’s general manager in a press release.

The utility company says its customers used on average 334 kilowatt hours more electricity this January compared to January 2017. Most customers are seeing a 21 percent increase in their bills.

Homes that use natural gas or propane will see an increase in their bill as well. A spokesperson for Texas Gas says its customers will see an uptick in their bills because of the increased usage this winter.

A spokesperson for Atmos Energy echoes the same message. “Due to record setting temperatures across Texas the past few weeks, Atmos Energy customers have seen an increase in their natural gas consumption. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, on New Year’s Day more natural gas was consumed than any other day in history,” said Randy Hartford with Atmos Energy.

Atmos Energy customers who would like to discuss their bill should call 1-888-286-6700.

 

Article from KXAN.com


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