Power bills packing a punch, Alabama Power explains increase

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - "When I got this bill I was totally blown away by the dramatic price increase," says Larry Dubose.

Larry and Jarvetta Dubose aren't used to a power bill with a $300 dollar price tag.

"I was thinking maybe this bill wasn't my bill.  I'm trying to figure out how we're going to be able to come up with this money," says Dubose.

They're not the only ones.  Others say they saw the hike, too.

"Probably on the average around $40 dollars. $30 to $40," says Montgomery resident, Allison Harris.

"Even from summer to winter you have seen an increase from last year up until now," adds Montgomery resident, Andre Caldwell.

"The typical bill would be $60 dollars," says Dubose.

While the Dubose's $300 dollar rate isn't typical, neither was this year's winter weather.

Meteorologists say the first 15 days of January were the coldest ever for Montgomery.  The winter weather brought 56 days of below freezing temperatures.

Alabama Power published a letter to customers explaining the bill increase.

They say the cold weather lead to a 45% increase in January usage.  It's a trend they're also seeing for February.

And even with recent rate reductions, leaders say it wasn't enough to offset the high usage.

Luckily for some, the increase isn't a problem.

"The bills gotta be paid.  It really didn't bother [me]," says Caldwell.

But the Duboses are looking for ways to pay.

"We're gonna try to have a yard sale."

But they're just happy warmer weather is on the way.

"It does excite us, and we're looking forward to having a lesser bill."

Alabama Power says they've cut rates a total of 12% since June.

There are a few steps you can take to keeps costs low for those last cold spurts.

--Leave thermostats at 68 or below.

--Use weather stripping to help keep cold air out.

--Open the blinds on bright days to let warmth in instead of turning on the heater.

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