Why your power bill might be higher this month

Weather, in winter months especially, can impact the amount of energy being used.
Weather, in winter months especially, can impact the amount of energy being used.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 6:47 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Just last month, a cold snap erupted, and there were 81 hours straight of below-freezing temperatures across East Tennessee.

Previous coverage: TVA lifts East Tennessee rolling blackouts amid arctic freeze

When cold weather hits the area, it can cause electric bills to be higher than normal.

A power bill is unique to everyone and can fluctuate depending on the month. A person’s bill is determined by how much energy they use and can also depend on how big of a place they live in.

People who have to power an entire house are going to have a higher bill than someone who lives alone in an apartment. Again, it all depends on the person’s energy intake.

A system works overtime to heat a home and could raise a monthly payment, according to Customer Support Supervisor for Knoxville Utilities Board Harley Bryant.

“If you have an electric heat pump, your heat pump is really not efficient enough to efficiently generate heat,” Bryant said. “So, it’s relying on the backup heat which is built into it, which is resistant heat, just straight eclectic heat. That’s about five times more expensive than the heat pump is to run.”

KUB offers a payment plan called the Levelized Payment Plan that will review a person’s entire year’s worth of power and determines the average monthly cost a person paid for that year.

That average will be a person’s set payment for each month, so their bill will not rise due to changes in temperature.

Bryant said this way you’re not surprised at the end of each month.

“One of the biggest things you could do to keep an eye out and not have a big surprise is go on a levelized payment plan,” Bryant said. “Basically, that’ll level out your bill from month to month going off your average and keep you from having a big spike or a low valley.”

Not everyone in Knoxville or in East Tennessee has KUB, so other providers may offer something like this or different.

The KUB app monitors how much energy a person uses by the hour. This way, a person can know exactly when they use different energy and for how long so they can plan accordingly to help lower the bill for next month.

Bryant said this is a great way for people to use their energy more efficiently.

“Just having that knowledge, where ok here it is 10 degrees outside, I’m looking at yesterday. I’ve used X amount more kilowatts or this much more gas so, you’re not so surprised when the bill comes out. You’ve been notified of that each time,” said Bryant.

KUB also partners with different organizations that could help qualifying households pay their power bill.

Anyone who wishes to receive any assistance can apply on the KUB website to see if they qualify.