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An additional $100,000 is available to help customers in need following the cold weather

February 21, 2017

To help income-eligible households struggling with higher than average electricity bills following the cold weather in December and January, we are devoting an additional $100,000 to our income-eligible assistance programs. This will help 500 more customers in need.

The extra $100,000 is on top of the $1.5 million already budgeted each year to help income-eligible customers and those who have lost their jobs. If you have lost your job and are receiving state unemployment benefits, you can receive a $200 bill credit, regardless of income. 

Other resources to help you pay your bill

If you need more time to pay your higher-than-average bill following the cold weather in December and January, please contact our Customer Service Department at 541-685-7000. We are happy to provide guidance on options, which may also include extended payment arrangements.

We also offer a Budget Billing Program to help balance out the seasonal high and low bills by making the monthly payments more predictable throughout the year. The program allows us to estimate an average payment based on the previous 12 months of actual usage. Read more about the Budget Billing program here.

I kept my thermostat the same - why is my bill higher?

When temperatures drop to freezing or below, heating systems have to work much harder, resulting in higher electric usage. Even if you keep your thermostat at 68 degrees all year, you may see your electric bill increase dramatically after just a few days of freezing weather.

The average temperature in Eugene between Dec. 15 and Jan. 31 was 34 degrees. There were more than 20 days during that time period when temperatures plummeted below freezing. Many heat pumps turn to backup electric resistance heating in such extreme cold in order to maintain warm temperatures indoors, and these systems can use up to three times as much electricity on the coldest days.

In addition, the increased electric usage during extremely cold weather can move you into a higher energy price category. Current prices are 5.948 cents per killowat for the first 800 kWh, and 7.435 cents above 800 kWh. We did not increase electric prices in 2017, but the combination of extreme cold temperatures, heating systems having to work harder in general to keep up with the cold, and the possibility of being moved up into the higher category could all be reasons for your higher-than-average bill. 

How do I take advantage of the additional funding? 
  • Customers 60 years or older: Contact Campbell Senior Center at 541-682-5354

  • East Springfield and upriver customers: Contact Catholic Community Services of Springfield at 541-747-8349

  • All other customers: Contact Catholic Community Services of Eugene at 541-345-3642