EKY residents experience high electric bills
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Temperatures are dropping, and power bills are rising, leaving some electric customers with sticker shock when they get their monthly bills.
According to Electricity Local, Kentucky’s residential electricity consumption ranks 7th in the nation.
The average residential bill is $138 a month in the Commonwealth, and cold snaps like we saw in December bring a bitter sting to those dreaded payments.
WKYT has heard from some viewers in eastern Kentucky whose electric bills were between $700 to $1,000 last month. A few said it’s more than their entire mortgage payment.
“Rural electric coop consumers oftentimes live in further out areas. You might have a situation with a higher prevalence of mobile homes compared to traditional homes, and those are exceedingly difficult to winterize,” said Kentucky Electric Cooperatives Vice President of Strategic Communications Joe Arnold.
According to data published by Kentucky Energy Affordability in 2020, the average resident in martin county spends 6 percent of their income on energy bills, much higher than 2% in heavily populated Fayette County.
The home’s age, building materials, insulation and the way it’s sealed can all play a role.
“There’s a number of factors affecting those high bills right now,” said Sarah Nusbaum with Kentucky Power. “Ranging from poor energy efficiency and greater demand, or higher usage, as you mentioned, it was very cold for a long time.”
That “long time” equated to 108 consecutive hours of sub-freezing temps in December.
Those bitter cold temperatures bit hard. some metro communities saw the grid struggle to maintain power, and a few even experienced rolling outages.
Trying to stay warm became an expensive necessity.
“There’s no way around that if you’re trying to keep your home not just comfortable but livable,” said Arnold.
The Public Service Commission announced in November they would investigate the “fuel adjustment charge” tacked on to electric bills, meant to cover the fluctuating fuel expense.
The public comment period has since closed on that matter, and the PSC has not yet released its findings.
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