Dominion (one of the electric companies for Virginia) sent my statement to me a week back and it was pretty hefty. Right in the neighborhood of $250. It was a lot more than I’m accustomed to paying for the electric around here. There is one obvious cause for the raise in heating cost: winter. And the month that the bill covered was the only substantially cold month of winter that the Commonwealth had for the entire season. However, I got around to buying a P3 4400 Kill A Watt monitor to figure out which of the things I’m leaving plugged in is running up the meter. At no other time have I more understood the times that my dad would yell at us for leaving the foyer doors open or the doors to the mostly unheated rooms on the rear of the house.

Even though I’m not happy that I received the high bill, I immediately understood why: winter. Where I live is heated by electric and Dominion sells me electric. The more heat I use, the more the electric bill goes up. Judging from an email that I received from Dominion, I was in the minority of people to come to the conclusion that I did.

Here is the subject line from Dominion’s email:

Why colder weather = higher bills

And the first line of the email:

Cold temperatures can cause higher-than-normal electric bills

It also included a FAQ with items such as:

Q: Why am I still charged for electricity when no one is home?
A: Unless you completely switch off all power to the residence, your heating system and water heater are likely still running to maintain the temperature you have set. Also, many appliances and electronics that are switched off still use power while plugged in (such as coffee makers, toasters, TVs, and computers).

At my age, I’m no longer surprised that the electric company’s phones likely lit up with people angry about their electric bill, and then having to explain to adults how electricity consumption works.

The weather calls for a high of 74F, so I imagine that this is the last of these calls Dominion will get until the air conditioners kick on.