Low October Temperatures Cause High Bills

The monthly comparison chart on your electric bill shows the average temperature and days of service compared to last year and last month.

October was unusually cold, causing electric heating systems to use more energy

According to the National Weather Service, October 2019 was the coldest on record for several cities in Yakima and Benton counties.

The average temperature was 44.8 degrees in Yakima and 48 degrees in Richland. Seven days dipped down to or below 32 degrees in West Richland.

Since heating systems consume most of a home’s kilowatt hours, these colder-than-usual temperatures directly impact electric bills. The colder the temperature, the longer furnaces run, and the higher the electric bill will  be.

The monthly comparison chart on your billing statement can help you understand your current charges. Knowing how many days of energy use are in your billing cycle and the average temperature during that period are good clues to discovering why your bill is what it is.

The efficiency of your home also affects your energy use.

“Having a heat pump and knowing how to keep it running efficiently will not only extend the life of the unit, but also reduce your energy bill,” says  Eric Miller, Benton REA’s energy advisor.

Benton REA rewards members who make energy-efficiency upgrades to their home, such as new windows, duct sealing, insulation, smart thermostats and heat pumps, including ductless heat pumps.

“All these products help homeowners reduce their energy consumption,” Eric says. “I’m happy to talk with members as they make home improvement decisions that will also affect their energy bill.”

Members may call 509-786-2913 to speak with Eric or any of our billing representatives. Rebate information is available at BentonREA.org/rebates.

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