Last week's record lows will mean higher-than-normal utility bills for Eugene Water and Electric Board customers. The cold also wreaked havoc on plumbing for many residents.
EWEB Public Affairs Manager Lance Robertson says between 70 to 80 percent of homes in the area are heated by electricity. He says EWEB noticed a 30% increase over a five day period compared to average usage.
Robertson: "Whenever temperatures drop to a really extreme temperature, people are going to use more electricity no matter how much insulation they have in their house."
Robertson says the best way to save money on your electric bill is to keep your thermostat down.
Robertson: "But these were very extreme cold temperatures. So trying to keep your house at 50 or 55, or even 60 sometimes can be very difficult when you have minus 10 degrees outside."
Many residents were using additional space-heaters to keep themselves and their plumbing warm during the cold spell. Once warmer temperatures returned, many people found themselves facing ruptured water pipes, which could also lead to a larger bill. Robertson says if customers find their bill too high to pay this month, they can contact EWEB and discuss payment options.
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