Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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Customer Service (M-F 8a-5:30p): 425-783-1000

Winter Bills

Cold Temps = Higher Bills graphic

Estimated Meter Reads

At times when hazardous conditions exist, such as periods of heavy snow and/or ice storms, the PUD may not be able to safely access customers’ meters. There also are other unusual circumstances that may prevent a meter reading. These are generally infrequent and affect a small number of customers scheduled for readings.

In other cases, such as highly inaccessible yards (with gates or other barriers) and/or dogs that don’t permit entry, it also may be difficult to read a customer’s meter. In such cases, the meter reading department will pursue other access arrangements for future readings.
 
If the utility can’t access the meter, it must estimate a customer’s electricity usage. The PUD’s billing system calculates the customer’s estimated electricity consumption based on the usage during the same period of the previous year.

Once the PUD gains access to the customer’s meter, the actual meter reading will be evaluated for an adjustment to the customer’s bill if necessary to either credit their account for any previous high bill estimates or add charges for previous low bill estimates.

Winter Heating

Heating bills rise when temperatures get colder in the winter. You not only use your heating system to keep your home warm, you also use it to maintain a certain temperature when you're away so that pipes don't freeze and your home is comfortable when you return.

The greater the difference between the temperature outside and the thermostat setting inside a building, the harder the heating system will work and the more energy it will use, even if the thermostat isn’t set higher or the building is unoccupied for part of the day or night. Sometimes it's not easy to know how hard your heating system is working because it usually sits in a garage, and you get used to hearing it turn on so you stop noticing it. If you set your heating to be at 68 degrees and the temperature outside is 30 degrees, your heating system is using more energy to maintain that 68 degrees than it would if the outside temperature was 40 degrees.

In the chart below, daily average temperatures in the winter are represented by the blue area. The orange area represents the amount of time your heating system is working to keep the temperature at 68 degrees. The more orange you see each day, the more your heating system is on, keeping the temperature setting to 68 degrees. This makes your energy bill higher.

(view larger size)

When the temperatures drop into the 30s, your heating system is working harder (using more energy) to keep your home heated even though the temperature setting of 68 degrees in the home hasn't changed.

Dialing Down Helps You Save

Because we heat our homes more in the winter, energy bills will be higher. You can take control to keep your bills in check.

Customer Service:

425-783-1000
(M-F, 8am to 5:30pm, except for holidays)

Toll-free:

1-877-783-1000
Western Washington & outside Everett