Electricity bills spike for customers in Tennessee Valley

Some customers who called WAAY 31 were shocked when they opened their bill.

Posted: Mar. 1, 2018 9:53 PM
Updated: Mar. 1, 2018 10:37 PM

WAAY 31 viewers who get their electricity through Joe Wheeler EMC in Morgan and Lawrence County told us their bills sky rocketed this month.

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WAAY 31 did some digging to find out why.

The Woodall family said they kept their thermostat at a pretty reasonable 73 degrees this winter, but when they opened up their february electricity bill they were shocked.

"We thought our January bill would be our highest one, but come to find out February is going to be more than January," said Sonny Woodall.

The Woodall's bill jumped up $84 in one month.

Joe Wheeler EMC said they're not alone.

They told WAAY 31 a significant number of their 43,000 customers saw a big increase in their bill this month.

The Woodall's said this bill hurts.

"Especially for people like us on a fixed income; a hundred dollars is a considerable chunk," said Woodall.

Joe Wheeler EMC told WAAY 31 they didn't raise rates.

They said the spike came from the cold snap we had adding that this winter was 37% colder than last year.

To visually see how the cold impacts electricity use there is a chart showing electricty usage with the outside temperature over top, which shows a direct corelation between temperature and usage.

The electricity co-op told WAAY 31 if you're struggling to find a way to pay your bill they can help.

"We can spread that bill out over a couple of months where they're not paying all of it in one lump. We have other payment options we can offer them," said Joe Wheeler EMC Spokesman Michael Cornelison.

Woodall said this is unfortunately something his family will just have to deal with.

"You have to try to plan ahead and do the best that you can," said Woodall.

Joe Wheeler EMC said many homes in Alabama are built to be more efficient during the summer months rather than in winter and extremely cold temperatures, so with the temperatures starting to warm up now they said customers should start to get back to normal.

If you need assistance with your bill Joe Wheeler EMC said its important to call them before your bill is past due.

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