Higher power usage means higher bills in cold snap

Submitted by sheilac on Wed, 02/27/2019 - 10:16

With those cold days earlier this February, customers should expect a higher PUD bill, because homes and businesses used a lot more power to keep us warm.

The colder it gets, the harder a heating system has to work, even if the thermostat is unchanged. Heating systems work against the temperature outside, so reaching a nice 65 degrees, for example, takes more power when it’s 20 degrees outside (a 45-degree difference) than when it’s 50 degrees (a 15-degree difference).

Adding space heaters or raising the thermostat can also dramatically increase power usage, and, therefore, bills.

In our area, the biggest energy cost for PUD bills is heating. Certain types of systems are more efficient than others, but will still represent the largest percentage of your energy use during cold months (in summer, cooling becomes the largest percentage).

There are many ways to reduce your power usage, whatever the weather. Check out some tips online at www.energy.gov.

"A district-wide graph shows that when temperatures dramatically decreased in February, power usage dramatically increased."