The Oak Ridge Electric Department is warning its customers to expect higher utility bills for the next two months. According to Jack Suggs, Oak Ridge electric director, bills for power used in December are now in the mail, and bills for January will be coming out in a few weeks. He expects these bills will be difficult for many customers.
The National Weather Service calculates an index called “degree days of heating,” which is used as an indication of how cold the weather is over the course of a month. The higher the value of the number, the greater difference between the outside temperature and a properly heated home.
“Higher degree days of heating means that the heating system in a customer’s home has to work harder to keep the home warm,” Suggs said. December 2013 had nearly twice the degree days of heating as November, and January is looking to be significantly higher than that. [Read more…]