Colder temperatures cause large increase in electric bills - WKRN News 2

Colder temperatures cause large increase in electric bills

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The brutal winter weather is here and it's starting to show up in electric bills.

December bills are already rolling in, and for many customers they're too much to handle.

Deborah Johnson was stunned when she opened her bill from NES.

"I was anticipating a rise, but never more than double," said Johnson.

Her bill jumped from $130 in November to nearly $300 in December.

"When your electric bill is getting almost as much as your rent or mortgage, how do you survive?" Johnson questioned.

She isn't the only one who thought the increase seemed extreme, as other residents noticed the increase, too.

NES spokesperson Laurie Parker told Nashville's News 2 the biggest factor is colder weather.

"About 40% to 50% of your total bill is due to heating costs, so you can see, depending on where you've got your thermostat set, if the temperature drops outside, it's really going to drive up your bill," said Parker.

Also driving up electric bills is TVA's seasonal rate change.

"TVA back in 2011 started a seasonal rate adjustment. The rates are higher in the summer and the winter when it's more expensive for them to purchase power and generate power," Parker noted.

This December was also colder than last December.  It's putting the squeeze on customers like Johnson.

She's on a fixed income and cares for her 2-year-old grandchild and her disabled son who doesn't work.

Johnson always keeps her thermostat at 65.

"I don't know what other cuts I could do in our household to conserve energy," said Johnson.

With colder days ahead, Johnson worries how she will pay her next bill.

"I'm very scared about what next month or future month's bills are going to look like," she stated.

If customers know they're going to have trouble paying their bills, NES encourages them to contact them right away to set up a payment arrangement.

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