During winter, you most likely see a higher than normal bill than you do in other months. That's especially the case if you heat your home with electric.
We know it's difficult when your amount due is more than you're expecting. We have ways to help, and want to make sure you're aware of these opportunities to help you make the choice that is best for you and your family.
Please contact our Customer Solutions Center at 800.572.1113 or send us a private message on Facebook to discuss options. Here are some of the ways we can help:
- Enroll you in AMP (Average Monthly Payment) Plan. AMP evens out payments throughout the year to account for seasonal spikes in usage. Bills adjust on a 12-month rolling average and change only slightly each month, making bills more predictable. And unlike traditional budget billing plans, there is no settle-up month. More information is available here.
- Set up a payment plan. In cases where bill payments have fallen behind, it may make sense to consider setting up a payment arrangement. Customer service representatives can describe specifics based on your unique situation. We offer
- A one-time payment extension to give you more time to make your bill payment
- An extended payment agreement to request a monthly payment plan to pay off your balance in full
- Learn how Kentucky Power partners with area Kentucky Community Action agencies to help low-income households who qualify with their utility bills. Available programs include
- The Home Energy Assistance in Reduced Temperatures (HEART) program
- The Temporary Heating Assistance in Winter (THAW) program
- The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Prevent Disconnection of a Friend or Relative. You can help someone avoid electric service disconnection with our Third-Party Notification program. This free service is often used on accounts of those who are elderly or ill, but it can be used for any customer. Learn more about Preventing Disconnection.
- Income Eligible Weatherization Services are available for customers living on low or fixed incomes through with area Kentucky Community Action agencies.
Why is my bill so high this winter?
When winter hits, customers usually see an increase in electric bills caused by colder weather which results in using more electricity to heat homes or businesses. Despite the start of a milder winter, the cost of fuel used to operate power plants is causing some customers to see a spike in power bills.
Fuel Costs Contributing to Higher Bills
On your Kentucky Power electric bill, there is a line item called the Fuel Adjustment Clause (FAC). This is a charge or credit for the actual cost of coal or natural gas used to generate or purchase electricity. Kentucky Power does not make a profit on fuel costs. The Company simply recovers dollar-for-dollar the costs of purchasing fuel to power its plants which is passed through to customers. The charge or credit varies monthly with the price of fuel over a base fuel amount.
Fuel costs were significantly lower last year and customers received credits most months on their bill through the Fuel Adjustment Clause.
Just as everyone is seeing the increase in costs for other necessities such as food and other household goods, fuel costs are also affected by the rising inflation. Fuel costs have been steadily increasing for several months. This along with colder weather, customers spending more time at home and longer billing cycles due to the holidays, can all contribute to higher bills.
Extra Billing Days
It's normal for the number of days in each billing cycle to change from month to month. More days per cycle will cause your bill to be higher. You can see the number of days in your billing cycle on the front page of your bill.
Electric Heat/Heat Pumps
Even if you have lowered your thermostat, extremely cold weather can require your heat pump to change how it operates. When outdoor temperatures fall below 30 degrees, heat pumps need help from less efficient supplemental electric resistance heat to maintain indoor warmth. In extreme cold periods, when heating needs are highest, most of the heat provided comes from the less efficient supplemental electric resistance heat. This is how your bill can increase, even if it seems you haven't done anything differently. Learn more about how heat pumps work in this video from Community Housing Partners, a regional non-profit focusing on affordable housing.
Even if you rely on your natural gas furnace as your home's main heat source, your electricity bill can still increase. Your natural gas furnace most likely relies on an electricity-powered blower to help move hot air through your home's ductwork. That electricity-powered blower is operating longer and harder to keep the same temperatures in your home when the outside temperature plummets.
Portable Space Heaters
In extreme cold periods, many people supplement their normal heating system with portable electric space heaters. Electricity to frequently run just one 1,500 watt space heater can add more than $100 a month to your bill. If you use more than one space heater, your costs go up even more.
Wood or Pellet-burning Stoves
These heat sources may also indirectly affect your electricity bill. While there are higher-efficiency stoves now available, they still require electricity-powered venting and blower fans to exhaust fumes and smoke from your house.
* This information is meant to give you an overview of your heating source's operation. Consult your system's manufacturer for specific information.