Cold Weather Causes High Power Bills

This past December, we experienced some of the coldest weather on record. Temperatures hovered in the teens and low twenties for ten days. We all did the best we could with the cold, with the snow and ice – and with the frozen pipes and lost days of work and school. Another consequence of the cold temperatures is just now hitting: higher electric bills. Heaters were working overtime to maintain the normal temperatures; with more time at home, lights, appliances and electronics were on more often – and with the holidays and holiday guests, there was more baking and cooking, hot showers, loads of laundry and dishwasher loads.

Fortunately, we don’t experience this kind of cold very often. There are things you can do to make your home as energy efficient as possible such as weather strip and caulk around doors and windows, clean lint out of dryers and refrigerator coils, check your furnace and heat pump filters, close outside vents and crawl space openings during the winter months. OPALCO offers free home (and business) energy audits to help identify areas of potential savings. Call 376‐3571 to set up an appointment. For more ideas on how to improve your energy efficiency and save money on your electric bill, visit energysavings.opalco.com.

If your electric bill is putting the pinch on your budget, Project PAL may be able to help. Co‐op members donate to Project PAL by rounding up their bill each month, and funds are made available to co‐op members in need. Project PAL applications are available at OPALCO offices, or by calling 376‐3500.

OPALCO is a member‐owned cooperative electrical utility serving more than 14,000 accounts on 20 islands in San Juan County.  OPALCO provides electricity that is 97% greenhouse‐gas free and is predominately generated by hydro‐electric plants. OPALCO was founded in 1937 to bring electricity to rural islanders and is one of 900 electric co‐ops in the United States today.