Weather to blame for high energy bills, tips to help

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – “When we first got the bill, we thought, you know, it’s high this month, but, I mean, it’s a bill you’ve got to pay, so we didn’t really think much of it,” said Madeline Buskirk, who lives in Lexington.

But then Madeline Buskirk couldn’t stop thinking about it.

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“When I saw someone on Facebook has said theirs was super high, I got to thinking maybe ours was higher than normal.”

Recently, social media has been blowing up with people upset over their energy bills. Some said it doubled in December. Some were concerned over a possible rate increase.

“No, the rates haven’t gone up at all, so no rate increases are in effect,” said Daniel Lowry, Kentucky Utilities Spokesperson.

Lowry said there’s been a recent hike for KU. He said the company has filed for an increase but is waiting for approval from the Public Service Commission. If approved, he said the earliest it would go into effect would be this summer.

Buskirk said she did double-check after seeing the Facebook comments and realized there was nothing wrong with her bill.

“We just used a lot more electricity this last month than what we normally have,” said Buskirk. “I’m assuming because it’s wintertime.”

Lowry credits the weather and energy use habits as the biggest culprits to a high energy bill.

“It’s a lot colder, for one thing,” said Lowry. “I think a lot of folks will see that in their heating bills.”

As verified by the National Weather Service, this December was about 6 degrees colder than December 2019 across Central and Eastern Kentucky.

“If you’ve got a furnace that is having to pull cold air from outside, we’re talking about temperatures in the 30s it has to work a lot harder to heat that air up and heat your home than if it were in the 50s or 60s,” said Lowry.

Lowry said to help keep your bill down, have a certified professional check your furnace, change filters regularly, seal leaks around your home, and make sure nothing is blocking a register.

“Drapes or furniture can sometimes cover up those registers and block that hot air, that heater from working properly,” Lowry said.

He said if you’re having trouble paying your bills, contact customer service, they have assistance programs to help.