We are just starting to recover from a record hot summer that brought many days in the 100-degree range. Many OPPD customers are getting a reminder of those days in the mail with revised "level payment plans" on their electric bill.
Utility customers we talked to Friday said their electric bill is just like pulling up to the gas station, no matter what the price, you have to pay. This summer was red hot. The record hot temperatures damaged crops, turned lawns brown and even ice cream couldn’t cool us off. It took air conditioning and now it’s time to pay.
"In August alone we had 19 percent increase in usage so it's directly related to the heat,” said OPPD’s Paula Lukowski. “People are using their air conditioning more so we have seen a large increase in the number of calls."
At Amy's Hair salon, electric bills were the topic of the day. Peggy Stoysich is on a level payment plan and knew an increase was coming. “I figured as much, it's gonna have to come to that.”
Peggy has allergies so she has to run her air conditioner. She says having to pay more to stay cool means cutting something else from her budget. "Well, you just have to readjust again, everything is going up, food is going up, gas prices, you name it, everything's going up so what can you do, you just got to adjust to it."
OPPD officials say customers did make adjustments, so the increases are not as bad as they could have been. “When we were in the middle of the heat wave we asked customers to, here’s some tips to conserve energy, cut back on certain times of the day when usage higher, customers did answer, they did listen, they did do something to help themselves lower their bills,” said Lukowski.
If you have any questions about your OPPD bill you can call Customer Care Services at 402-536-4131.