OPPD customers could see a higher bill for February

Demand increased during the recent five-day freeze.
Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 9:04 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - If you didn’t conserve energy during last week’s freeze, NPPD and OPPD say you could pay the price in your February electric bill.

Last week’s weather conditions across Nebraska could impact consumer electric bills. Nebraska Public Power District does not foresee the same magnitude some in Texas may face but electric demand on NPPD’s system increased during the five days of record cold temperatures. There is no overall rate increase for NPPD’s 2021 electric rates.

“If a customer used more electricity than they normally do, their bill will likely go up for the month,” said Pat Hanrahan, NPPD Retail General Manager. “Bills will be dependent on how much electricity each customer used, but the overall rate for electricity did not change. Customers who took conservation measures, like lowering their thermostats, may not see much of an increase. Customers who did not take conservative measures should expect to see a higher than normal electric bill.”

OPPD is still processing bills Monday. It can’t provide details on how much customers should expect to pay if they kept their heat on high or used appliances during the deep freeze.

“The more you use, the more you’re going to pay,” OPPD spokesperson Jason Kuiper said.

If you did your part to conserve energy, your bill should look normal.

“If you wanted your house at a certain temperature when it was that much colder out, you had to use more energy to keep the house at that temperature you considered comfortable,” Kuiper said.

NPPD energy use surged last Tuesday, according to a spokesperson. It generated 2,100 megawatts of electricity. It’s normally between 1,600 to 1,700 megawatts.

“Today, for example, we’re down to about 14-hundred megawatts,” NPPD spokesperson Mark Becker said. “There’s a big difference in the weather conditions today versus last week.”

OPPD employees are back to work this week after some worked up to 60 hours to keep energy pumping across eastern Nebraska. Kuiper says employees outside completed tasks such as transporting coal, while others worked inside to communicate information to customers.

A typical Nebraska residence uses about 1,000-kilowatt hours of electricity, but some preliminary review appears to be running about 30 percent higher. Having no overall rate increases for eight years is part of NPPD’s efforts as a public power organization to keep costs low for the consumers, doing so while still providing reliable electric service.

Customers who need to make payment arrangements or get energy assistance from local agencies are encouraged to contact NPPD at 1-877-ASK-NPPD. NPPD’s retail customers can also download NPPD’s mobile app (NPPD on the Go!). The mobile app can be used to set up notification preferences for bill-ready and/or high usage alerts, e-billing, usage patterns, and more at their fingertips.

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