Information & Assistance for Blue Ridge Members
When winter sets in with cold temperatures, chilling rain, sleet, or snow, and gray days without sunshine, we’re thankful to have heating systems that work around the clock to keep our homes comfortable. However, when the bill for that kilowatt-hour usage comes, we’re apt to forget what the weather conditions were like the previous month. Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative is fortunate to have a weather station on site to collect and report recorded high and low temperatures, along with when they occurred. The station also tracks heating and cooling degree days, precipitation amounts, and wind speed and direction.
Our employees use these same monthly summaries to review members’ energy consumption, particularly when bills appear higher than usual. A review of November 2017 and November 2018, for instance, indicates that, during that period, heating degree days (a term that identifies the amount of heat needed to keep your temperature stable at 65°) were 21% higher in 2018. While the average daily temperature in November 2017 was 51.6, it dropped to 47.4 in 2018.
December was much more similar in a comparison of the two years. In December 2017, the number of degree days was 655, with an average monthly temperature of 43.9. During that same month in 2018, the weather station registered 640 degree days, with a 44.3 average mean.
Winter bills can be hard on family budgets. For this reason, Blue Ridge endeavors to work with each member on an individual basis. No two families are alike, and the kilowatt-hour use varies from home to home. However, there are a few items you can check when you receive your winter bill:
- What is the reading date of this bill? Electricity is one of the few commodities you consume now, and then pay for it afterwards. Depending on your cycle, the bill dates represent days of service that are more than a month old.
- How many of those days of service are covered? In a perfect world, you would be billed for the same number of days each month. However, with the varying numbers of days from month to month (and other factors such as weekends and holidays), this isn’t always possible. However, if you look at your days of service from one reading date to the next, you can determine how many days were included in each cycle and that they did not overlap during any billing period.
- Are there charges, other than my current bill, on this month’s invoice? Many times, particularly when bills are higher, people will pay only a portion of their bill, leaving a partial balance to add to the next month. This distinction is prominently displayed on the monthly invoice. In such instances, a look at the bottom-line total would reveal a larger amount than that of the current bill.
If you have special circumstances that require assistance, please call our member service representatives at 800-240-3400 to discuss your situation.These co-op employees work out payment plans, contracts, and arrangements with members every day.There’s also a list of agencies available on the Blue Ridge website that offer assistance to persons who struggle to pay their bills.
Snowstorm Diego, above-average rainfall, and plenty of chilly days and nights all conspired to make 2018 a little rougher than usual.For information on low-cost ways to cut your energy usage, visit our website or call for a free brochure that details these measures.We can also send you a free copy of the climate information we’ve gathered for the month.Blue Ridge is YOUR power provider, and we’re dedicated to making sure our members receive the best service we can possibly deliver.Please call our above-referenced toll-free telephone number and talk with us when you have a questions or problems.