Why is my power bill so high?
We've been getting that question from viewers a lot these last few weeks, some saying their bills were skyrocketing!
Violet Sith said her bill doubled this month and tripled last January but is normal other months. Elizabeth Anne Hammons asked "How does a K-U-B bill go from $104 dollars to $288 dollars when you keep it on 62?"
We asked KUB (Knoxville Utilities Board) for the answers.
A KUB spokesperson said the price increases you are seeing are based on one thing--- use.
It was much colder this December and January than it was last year. The 10 Weather team did the math for us:
December 15-31, 2016: 43.6°
January 1-15, 2017: 44.8°
Average temp through billing period: 44.2°
December 15-31, 2017: 39.3°
January 1-15, 2018: 29.1°
Average temp through billing period: 34.2°
Unlike some providers, who increase the cost of energy during high use periods, KUB charges one flat rate. But with temperatures so cold, your system may have been working overtime, without you even knowing it.
"Temperatures have just been so extreme here in the past month that people's heating unit in their homes have had to use more energy to properly heat their homes. When you get into those extremely cold temperatures your heating unit is less efficient, many times it's running on auxiliary heat which does use more energy and that increased energy use has a big impact on your bill," said Stephanie Midgett, KUB Spokesperson.
With temperatures falling into the 20s and even the teens and single digits at times at the end of December and in January, KUB said usage spiked exponentially. Electric bills were up anywhere from 36 to 58 percent compared to last month, while gas bills were up anywhere from 64 to 95 percent from December.
The unpredictability of the system is why KUB offers a program to balance out your payments.
"Sign up for our levelized billing program and that takes a rolling average of your last 12 months of usage and that's what your bill will be, that way it helps even things out over the last 12 months so. You don't get those seasonal highs or really those lows, it all kind of works out evenly making your payment more manageable," said Midgett.
KUB adds that your bill also depends on when the cycle starts. For example, some customers may see just one of the two cold snaps on their bill, but others may see both.
If you have questions about your bill, you can always reach out to KUB.
If you have a question or concern you'd like us to look into, email us at 10Listens@wbir.com.