The month of December brought with it a dramatic swing in temperatures. For the first 15 days of the month, the average high was 52 degrees and average low was 29. However, for the second half of the month the average high was only 38 degrees and average low was 24, with eight days that never saw the daily high temperature reach above freezing. The start to 2018 hasn’t proved much better as New Year’s Day the temperature only reached 13 with a -5 for the low.
According to Marc Roecker, Laclede Electric’s CEO, the cooperative set a new all-time high peak demand of 228 Megawatts on January 2, 2018. The previous high of 221 MWs was set back in January 2014. Roecker also reports that Laclede’s power supplier, Associated Electric, set a new system wide peak of 4,850 megawatt-hours on January 2, 2018.
As the extended forecast shows some relief for the daytime highs, the lows are projected to remain below freezing. This cold weather is certainly going to have an impact on bills that our members receive at the end of January. In fact, looking at a 24-hour period on January 1st, nearly 1,200 accounts used at least 300 kilowatt hours, or $24.30, for the day.
Laclede Electric currently uses two billing cycles. Members can locate which cycle they are on by looking at the top right of their billing statement. There will either be a 1 or 3. Members on Cycle 3 will receive a bill in late January for usage from December 19, 2017 through January 18, 2018. Cycle 1 members will receive a bill in early February for usage from December 26, 2017 through January 25, 2018.
In preparing for these bills, we encourage members to access their account through SmartHub either via the mobile app or website. This tool will allow you the opportunity to look at hourly, daily and monthly usage as well as compare it to last year. This invaluable tool also allows members to compare usage patterns in relation to the average temperature to get a better understanding of the consumption.
Our employees are happy to assist in answering any questions you may have. Simply give any one of our offices a call.
In addition to higher electric bills, extreme cold weather can also be hard on homes. To prevent pipes from freezing:
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold-water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.