COLUMBIA, S.C. (Jan. 14, 2011) – The recent cold temperatures have prompted many SCE&G customers to turn up the heat, setting a new winter peak record for use. During the 8 a.m. hour today, customers used 4,872 megawatts (MW) of electricity, breaking the previous 4,720 MW record set on Jan. 11, 2010.
With increased electric consumption comes the potential for higher bills. As the outdoor temperatures drop, electric heat pumps need help to produce enough heat to maintain a comfortable temperature inside. As a result, heat pumps activate the heat strips (also known as auxiliary heat), which can cost up to three times more to operate. Although the electric weather normalization adjustment will help some, customers will likely still see higher bills than normal because of the extra use due to the recent extreme cold.
If you have a heat pump and are away from home during the day, lower your thermostat several degrees from the recommended 68 degrees. When you return home, raise the thermostat one degree at a time until the desired setting is reached in order to avoid the heat strips from activating.
With temperatures forecast to be in the teens and 20s over the next few nights, SCE&G would like to remind customers that there are cost-effective ways to stay warm. Simple steps like opening blinds and shades to let sunshine in during the day and remembering to change your air filter once a month can keep your home warm and your heating unit working more efficiently. For additional energy efficiency tips and other resources, visit www.sceg.com.
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company is a regulated public utility that provides natural gas service to approximately 309,000 customers throughout South Carolina. The company also is engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 660,000 customers throughout the state.