How Cold Is It?

(Jan. 29, 2014) – Well, most of us know it’s pretty darned cold every time we have to go outdoors, whether we check the thermometer, or not. But, what does the temperature outside mean as it applies to the temperature inside, and what does this mean for our customers? In a nutshell, the colder it is outside, the more our heating systems have to work to maintain a temperature that is comfortable inside; the harder the heating system works, the more kilowatts (kWH) we use and, unfortunately all of our customers can expect a higher electric bill for the month of January.

Even without knowing exactly what individual customers’ bills will be, Berlin knows that there will be a significant impact because of the load on our overall system. The terms “peak load” and “peak shaving” have become familiar to most of us over the years as terms we hear during the hottest days in the summer. For Berlin we typically “shave the peak” during the summer months by generating power only when our customers’ needs on the system exceed what is being provided by our purchase power utility. During the summer months, the Town’s peak load ranges from 9.0 megawatts to 11.4 megawatts. Back to the question: “How cold is it?” In the month of January 2014, we exceeded 11.4 megawatts 3 times. 1/7/14 was 14.2, 1/22/14 was 12.6 and 1/23/14 was 12.4 megawatts. The peak of 14.2 on January 7, 2014 was the highest peak for the Town of Berlin (at any time of year) since 2009.

So, please keep this in mind when you receive your upcoming bill. Also, remember that qualifying customers may be eligible for assistance with paying their electric bill. If you want to learn more, please contact the Utility Billing department at 410-641-2770.

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