How cold weather affects your bill

Why does cold weather mean higher bills? 

Freezing temperatures are once again expected this week. Frigid temperatures cause heating systems to work overtime, and since heating and cooling can make up nearly half of your electric bill, you may experience sticker shock when you open that bill.

• The weather makes a big impact on electric bills, accounting for nearly half of your bill.
• Even those with the most efficient HVAC systems will see more use in extreme weather.
• When extreme temperatures hit, our heaters work overtime. For example, even if you set your thermostat to at 68 degrees in the winter when it is 19 degrees outside, your system has to work hard to make up that 49-degree difference.
• Your heater works harder and cycles on and off more often, making your use much higher. That means your bill will be much higher.
• Remember, there is value in comfort. For us to be comfortable in our homes, our heaters are going to work harder, but it may be worth the additional cost to you.


These simple steps can help you manage your use:

  • Wrap exposed pipes and water heaters that are in unconditioned spaces.
  • Make sure to change your air filter once a month.
  • Keep drapes closed at night and keep those that don’t get direct sunlight closed during the day, too.
  • Keep the fireplace damper closed when it is not in use. Keeping it open can bring cold air into the room.
  • Caulk around the fireplace hearth, and caulk or weather strip around doors and windows.
  • Log on to your Coast Electric account to keep up with your use. If we’ve had a few days of frigid temperatures, see how you can try to save on days that are milder.
  • Dress for the weather, even if you are inside. Wearing proper clothing like long sleeves and pants or wrapping up in a cozy blanket will help combat the temptation of bumping up the thermostat.
  • Call Coast Electric at 877-769-2372 or visit to see what kinds of programs might be right for you. With options like our Time of Use rates – where you pay a premium to use energy during peak hours but a much discounted price for all other hours of the day – or levelized billing – that keeps your bill around the same amount all year – you are able to make a choice that makes the most sense for you and your family.
  • Speak to one of our energy efficiency experts. They can help you understand how weather and your use patterns affect your bill. Call 877-769-2372 and ask to speak to the Residential Energy Representative for your area.

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