Cooler Temperatures May Bring Higher Electric Bills


Bryan Municipal Utilities (BMU) customers may see increased electric bills as a result of colder January temperatures. Colder weather typically leads to increased operating hours for home heating systems and often results in higher electric bills.

It requires more energy to maintain your home at 72 degrees when its 20 degrees outside than it does when outside temperatures are 40 degrees. Even if you don’t adjust your thermostat, colder weather causes your heating system to operate a greater number of hours to maintain your home at the desired temperature.

Customers who heat their homes with electric heat will see an increase in electric consumption. If your heating system uses natural gas, liquefied petroleum (LP) gas or fuel oil, you may still experience higher electric bills since most heating systems include an electric-powered forced air blower or circulating pump to distribute heat throughout your residence.

BMU billing statements include a bar graph showing monthly kilowatt-hour consumption over the past 12 months. This graph allows customers to quickly compare their energy use during the current billing period with past months.

“Although the Bryan Board of Public Affairs discussed electric rate changes in the last few months, the actual cost per kWh has decreased. If your bill is greater this month than last month, it is because of greater energy use, not a change in electric rates,” Fitzcharles added.

Fitzcharles encourages customers with billing questions to contact BMU at 419-633-6100.

With local temperatures projected to remain in the low 20s to 30s, BMU offers the following tips to help save money on winter utility bills:

  1. Set thermostats at the lowest comfortable temperature.
  2. Change your furnace filters monthly. Dirty filters can increase operating costs.
  3. Don’t block heat registers and return vents with furniture or drapes.
  4. Use LED holiday lighting strings to reduce the cost of decorating your home.
  5. Make sure your home is adequately insulated. Proper insulation can help you save money on winter heating bills as well as summer cooling bills. If wall insulation is too costly, concentrate on installing attic and floor insulation.
  6. Open blinds, drapes and curtains during the day to allow sunlight to warm your home. Close them at night to prevent the chill that can be felt from windows.
  7. Enroll in BMU’s Budget Billing Program to help even out your monthly utility bills. Budget Billing Program enrollment occurs in July each year.