Record Cold Lands Family with Thousand Dollar Electric Bill | News

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Record Cold Lands Family with Thousand Dollar Electric Bill
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The frigid winter is driving up electric bills on the First Coast.

"I dread when that JEA bill comes," Aluoch Moody said. "I don't even want to open it because I don't know what I'm going to see this month."

Aluoch and her husband Sterling Moody's monthly electric bill is always high, they said. A good month for them is between $200 and $300.

But their bill for the month of December was through the roof.

"When I got it this month there was like no words." Aluoch said she was shocked.

Their charges for electricity alone for the month of December totaled $993.70.

Gerri Boyce, JEA spokesperson, said although the Moody's energy consumption for in December was higher than the average of 60-80 kilowatt-hours, they aren't alone. Boyce said many customers saw their usage double between November and December because of record cold.

"The kilowatt usage in December 2010 was more than any month in the last three years," Boyce said.

According to JEA, energy consumption December 14, 2010 was 3,086 megawatts.

The record winter peak of consumption was set in January, 2009 at 3,250; only 164 megawatts more.

The Moodys say their home's size and lack of insulation could be driving up the cost. Also, they've been keeping the thermostat at 70 degrees in the winter and are now turning to a potentially dangerous space heater just to keep the bills manageable.

But there could be a simpler, and less risky solution.

According to JEA, each degree you lower the thermostat will save you five percent and the suggested temperature for winter months is 68 degrees.

The Moodys agree that an extra blanket could be worth saving 10% on their next bill.

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