Appalachian Power Customers Hit With Higher Bills - WSET.com - ABC13

Appalachian Power Customers Hit With Higher Bills

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Lynchburg, VA- Some Appalachian Power customers opened their bills this month to a surprise. Even though the derecho knocked out their power for days in July, they say their bills skyrocketed.

Apco officials say it is not uncommon to have higher bills in the summer. But this has not been your average summer, and the hotter than usual weather could be to blame.

After enduring the derecho last month, thousands of Appalachian Power customers went days without power.

"We were without power for about five days. I kind of figured it would go down a little bit, " said Andrew Musick, an Appalachian Power customer.

Some customers are so frustrated with power rates they have decided to nix electricity.

"We have been looking at natural gas. I just replaced a unit on top of a building two weeks ago and we made sure it was natural gas unit not electrical unit," said John Basten, a landlord and Appalachian Power customer.

The common thought was fewer days with power means ower bills. Well Apco officials say the answer could have more to with the sizzling heat last month than the dreadful derecho.

"If the temperature inside is set at 78 degrees, and the outside temperature is 103 degrees that unit is using a lot more electricity to try and cool your residence," said Todd Burns, a spokesperson for Appalachian Power.

July set records in high temperatures, meaning your cooling units had to work overtime to cool your home. Another reason for the spike, some customers were given estimated bills which are bills based on their usage last year.  Apco employees were busy restoring power last month not reading meters. Burns says you could see adjustments next month.

"What happens is when we go out to actually read the bill the following month that bill will correct for any over or under payments on the prior billing period," said Burns.

If you are looking for some ways to save on your energy bill, Apco suggest signing up for their average monthly payment system. They also recommend setting you thermostat to 78 during the summer, and pulling down your blinds during the day.

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