Extreme cold temps can affect utility bills

LINCOLN — Extremely low temperatures during the second week of February are expected to drive higher usage of electricity which may result in higher electric bills for LES customers during their next billing cycle. This is not due to an increase in the price of electricity. LES has not had a rate increase for the past four years.

“As outdoor temperatures drop, heating systems must run longer to maintain the desired temperature within our homes and businesses," said Lisa Hale, vice president, Customer Services. “Last week’s temperatures were so low that customers will likely see higher usage regardless of type of heating system or conservation measures taken.” 

No matter what type of heating system you have (electric, natural gas or propane), heating energy use is mainly dependent on four things:

  1. Your thermostat setting.
  2. The condition and efficiency of your heating system.
  3. Insulation values in the attic and exterior walls of your home or business.
  4. The outdoor temperature.

A preliminary review of electric energy usage during the last few weeks shows an average increase of 30-50% during the freezing temperatures. Customers should examine their bill comparing last year’s usage as well as average high and low temperatures to this year’s numbers.

Customers who need to make payment arrangements or get energy assistance from local agencies can contact LES at 402-475-4211. For more energy-saving tips, follow LES’ Twitter and Facebook pages or visit