HIGH ELECTRIC BILLS - AUGUST 2018
Why are bills in the summer so high? I am so confused. What is going on?
Remember that when you get your utility bill each month – it is for past usage. Look at the dates on the bill. Sometimes the bill comes one and a half months after you have used the electricity, and with all we have going on these days, that might as well be a year and half. That is why it’s important to go back and try to remember what you were doing during the timeframe on the bill. Ask yourself questions such as:
How hot was it during the billing period and did I use the air conditioner?
Is my dehumidifier running often?
Did we have additional guests?
Did we use more water than normal to fill up a pool?
Is there something wrong with an appliance of ours?
There are many factors that go into our summer bills. Here are the top ones.
1. Air Conditioning. Even if you use it a little, the energy required to remove heat from the air is extreme. If you decide not to run your air, your refrigerator, freezer and other appliances will need to work even harder. This adds to your usage.
2. Humidity. Not only is your air conditioner working harder when it is humid, the dehumidifier in your basement is going full tilt. If you run both of these for a decent amount of time during the summer, you will see bills jump.
3. PCAC. This line item in your bill is usually a credit in the winter months when fuel/ generation costs are low, but in the summer, this can add to your bill. The PCAC is used to recover the costs for extra generation that is needed to supply power during the hottest days of the year, when energy costs soar.
Ways to reduce your summer energy use
- If you are going to run your AC, keep it set at a higher temperature (we recommend 76-78) when you aren’t at home. The best way to do this is to use a smart thermostat. And you may be able to get one free or at a reduced cost by visiting this link. (https://www.focusonenergy.com/access)
- Keep your blinds closed during the day. All the heat that gets in via the windows means more work for your air conditioner.
- Cook outside when you can. Summer in Wisconsin is for grilling.
- Get a new energy star appliance. You can get a $25 credit towards your utility bill if you purchase a new one. Just fill out our rebate form and attach a copy of the receipt.
- If you happen to have a second refrigerator, the best place for this is in a basement. It will help reduce the amount of energy that it uses by keeping it in a cool area. If you are interested in getting rid of your (working) second refrigerator, you can get $35 and have someone pick it up from your house. Visit this link (https://focusonenergy.com/residential#program-appliance-recycling )
Cory Neeley, CEM
Energy Services Representative
Serving Brodhead, Evansville, Waterloo and Stoughton
RE: WATER LATERAL INSURANCE COVERAGE MAILING
HomeServe USA Repair Management Corporation recently sent a mailed advertisement to a significant number of Brodhead Water & Light residents soliciting insurance coverage for water laterals. In its advertising materials, HomeServe states that property owners are responsible for lateral repairs between the City's right-of-way and their house and solicits insurance coverage for water laterals. Brodhead Water & Light Superintendent Jeff Peterson advises that "The company is correct in stating that property owners are responsible for lateral repair costs between the City's right-of-way and their house. HOWEVER, property owners should contact their insurance companies to see if they are already covered for a lateral damage incident, or if they feel such coverage is warranted." Peterson added that "property owners are urged to read the fine print of the proposed coverage and determine if the long term costs warrant such coverage." Brodhead Water & Light does not endorse HomeServe and HomeServe is not affiliated with the Brodhead Water & Light or City of Brodhead. Water & Light residents are also encouraged to research HomeServe USA Repair Management Corporation on the Better Business Bureau website.
ATTENTION WATER CUSTOMERS Due to the harsh winter weather we have been experiencing, the possibility exists that your water service may freeze. The following are some signs that your water service may be freezing: ♦ Water is rusty and discolored. ♦ With your faucet fully on, you notice reduced water pressure. ♦ If possible, first thing in the morning run water 3-4 minutes and take the water temperature with a thermometer (a meat thermometer works best). A temperature of 35 degrees or below indicates that your service is close to freezing.
If you do not have any signs of freezing, you do not need to run your water. If you have already been notified to run water, you do not need to call in.
If any of these happen, fully open your cold water faucet and let it run until the water runs clear and there is full pressure. Continuously run an index finger-sized stream of water from any faucet in your house. In addition - first thing in the morning and the last thing at night, open faucet fully for five minutes, making sure to leave a stream running when done. Call the Water & Light during office hours (8:00-4:30) to let us know that you are running water. Your water meter will be read.
Once you have contacted us, YOU WILL NOT BE CHARGED FOR WATER RUNNING DOWN THE DRAIN. Your bill will be estimated from your average usage.
IMPORTANT DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR WATER UNTIL WE NOTIFY YOU TO DO SO! With the weather being so unpredictable, it could be well into spring before we have you turn it off. If you turn the water off before we contact you and it freezes, you will be financially responsible to thaw it out. It could cost $250 to $300 or more, depending on how long it takes. Resources are limited and restoring service could take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days.
Remember – when the weather starts to warm up outside, it pushes the frost down into the ground further. It will freeze your water service! If your service does freeze, call the Water & Light office (897-2505) immediately. After hours the Police Dept. (897-2112) will contact one of our employees. A determination will be made when to thaw your service based on the availability of personnel. Thank you for your cooperation- Brodhead Water & Light