High Bill Concerns
If you have a bill which is significantly higher than you had expected, please contact our customer service center by calling (616) 846-6250. In response to high bill concerns, the Board of Light & Power will send a service worker to verify the original meter reading. Upon request, we will also send a member of our technical services staff to the residence to meet with you for an energy review and audit.
What is a Degree Day?
Degree day – Cold winter weather or sweltering summer heat can increase the cost of your utility bills. You are able to determine the weather impact by using a unit of measure called a Degree Day. A higher number of degree days will require more energy for cooling or heating your home or business.
2 types of degree days – Cooling and heating. Each compares the current day’s average temperature to a baseline standard of 65ºF to determine the energy demands of cooling or heating your home or business. Days with an average temperature of 65ºF have no cooling or heating degree days.
Hot days are measured in cooling degree days. On a day with a mean temperature of 80°F, 15 cooling degree days would be recorded (80-65=15).
Cold days are measured in heating degree days. For a day with a mean temperature of 40°F, 25 heating degree days would be recorded (65-40=25).
Adding the cooling or heating degree days together for a whole month (or year), provides a way to compare a previous month’s (or previous year’s) cooling demands to that of the current month (or current year).
How weather impacted my 2016 summer electric bill – On July 1, 2016, the GHBLP decreased energy rates to its customers; however, the cooling degree days in June through September were approximately 33% above normal and 45% above those in 2015 (as recorded by the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids). Because air conditioning units demand more electricity than any other household appliance, these weather differences help to explain why electric bills were up 12.1% on average even with a 10.2% reduction in electric rates.