HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - We are finally feeling the warm sunshine, and look forward to warmer days ahead. The low numbers on the thermometer will mean a higher number on your monthly utility bill, because snow and ice froze north Alabama this week.
"Folks are just trying to stay warm right now," Joe Gehrdes with Huntsville Utilities said.
Unfortunately, the numbers on this month's heating bill won't decrease like the outside temperature.
"They're going to be higher," Gehrdes said. "When the temperatures are particularly cold like this, you use a lot more energy, mostly to heat your home. We have not changed the rates. I want to make sure, very sure, that our customers understand that.'
When you do look at your bill, you might notice the Degree Days number looks higher.
"That number is an indicator of our departure of what our average daily temperature is on any given day," Gehrdes said. "So, what customers see is a cumulative number for their billing period. So far, for the month of January, we're well above average. We are only slightly below what we recorded in 2014 during the famous polar vortex event."
The National Weather Service sets the mean temperature for our area at 65 degrees. The bigger the difference between actual temperature and average temperatures, the higher the Degree Days.
"We are averse to the weather and when it's particularly hot, or particularly cold, customers use more energy to try to stay comfortable and that's certainly the case this time," Gehrdes said.