Two Georgia families reached out to news media to find out why they were forced to pay more than double their usual electricity bill.
One family typically pays around $300, but their bill came in at $749, reported ABC9. Their neighbor also saw an unusually high bill, coming in at more than $600.
A representative for the energy company said it’s normal for a significant jump in energy bills during harsh winters.
“When we have these extreme cold, cold temperatures that last a long period of time then people see an increase in their usage,” said Stephanie Holder, vice president of member services for North Georgia Electric Membership Corporation, reported the broadcaster.
“If you’ve got your heat pump set at 68 degrees and it’s 8 degrees outside, it’s got to work really hard to get 60 degrees warmer in the house, it’s going to come on more often.”
North Georgia EMC said that if people are worried beforehand their bill might be high, the company will send a worker out to survey the home and tell them what could be changed to lower the bill.
There are a number of ways to keep an energy bill down during the winter and summer when costs usually jump the most.
The Kotzebue Electric Association notes that bills are typically the highest during winter not only because of heating, but because people are generally inside more meaning a higher electronic usage.
Suggestions from the association to lower bills during the winter months include setting the temperature on a hot water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit, not using space heaters, and updating refrigerators and freezers more often.
In the winter, also, setting the heat a few degrees lower can shave off dollars from electric bill. In the summer, keeping the thermostat higher will do the same thing.