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Vol. 66 Number 4


News orthwestern Electric February 2015 Frigid temperatures heat up electric bills T


here’s no doubt about it. Old man winter made his presence known at the end of 2014 and he decided to stick around well into the new year. The colder temps are making some members a little hot under the collar when they open their electric bill.


Oklahoma weather can change in just a few short hours. Remember back on Nov. 10 when the high was 76 degrees and the next day it dropped to a low of 30 degrees? With a temperature swing of 46 degrees, some of us ran the air conditioner one day and switched to the heater the next. Even though we kept the thermostat on the same setting, we used more electricity on the cold day than on the hot day.


This doesn’t always make sense to some people, but simple math can make it a little easier to understand. If the thermostat was set at 72 on both days, the HVAC system had to compensate for a 4-degree outdoor temperature difference on the warm


day. However, on the cold day, the system had to make up a difference of 42 degrees between the indoor and outdoor temperatures.


It takes a lot more electricity to heat a house by 42 degrees than it does to cool it down by 4 degrees.


Now take a look at the billing cycle between Nov. 20-Dec. 20. There were seven days the low temperature was close to or below freezing. A lot more heat was generated during that time frame and a lot of power bills went up. So it was a bit of a surprise and shock to some members when the bill arrived in January. Needless to say, the sticker shock prompted several calls from members questioning why their bill was so high. With the frigid temperatures we had to start off the new year, it’s possible the February bills could be even higher than last month’s.


The bill that arrives in February reflects the power use between Dec. 20-Jan. 20. Beginning on Dec. 27, the low remained close to or below


freezing for almost 20 days in a row. The average high during that 20-day period was 28 degrees. Simply put, lower temps mean higher bills. While we can’t control the weather, Northwestern Electric can provide members with an easy way to help monitor their daily electric use. NWEC’s customer services portal lets members view their account details online at nwecok.coop or on a smart phone app. One of the most useful tools in the portal is the usage history located under the My Usage tab. To view a specific time period, members can enter a start and end date to reflect the days they would like to compare.


The screenshot below shows the daily energy consumption at one member’s house and compares it to the high and low outdoor temperature. Notice on Dec. 30, the high temp was 28 degrees and the low was 19. The electric use for that day was 273 kilowatt-hours (kWh). The member Continued on page 4.


Inside


Patterson retires...........2 No-cost tips...................3 Recipe............................3 District meetings ..........4 Important dates.............4


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