Deep freeze adds cost to utility bills - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Deep freeze adds cost to utility bills

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  There's finally some relief in sight, but we're not out of the deep freeze yet.

Frigid temperatures are keeping furnaces running nearly all day and night. The extreme cold forced the Dougherty County School System to throw out their money-saving energy policy keep the heat running all night at some schools.

Many WG&L sub stations are also running overtime to keep up with the increased demand for power. Believe it or not, something as simple as this feather can save on your energy bill by detecting a draft in your home, simply by running it around doors and windows and finding a draft.

Those cold temperatures and drafts have Westover High running their boilers overnight to keep students warm.

Westover High School hasn't been easy to keep warm, with overnight temperatures in the teens, they're missing a layer of their ceiling.

"With the ceiling tiles out we lose a good bit of our insulation value," said R. D. Harter, DCSS Public Information Officer.

They've made special compensations to ensure students are warm.

"Our teachers also have the liberty of moving from a colder classroom to a warmer classroom," said Gene Miles, Westover High Assistant Principal.

Administrators also put their energy policy that mandates thermostats be set at 68 degrees aside at Westover and are warming classrooms overnight to keep temperatures up.

"We have temperatures in the prescribed range of 65 to 72 degrees," said Harter.

Parents are encouraged to dress their students in layers at all schools, it's a cost saving measure at home too.

"Every additional piece of clothing you put on you raise your body temperature five degrees. So if my home is 68 and I put on a sweater or I watch TV under an afghan with socks on, I've raise my body temperature it feels like I'm in a room of 73," said Lorie Farkas, WG&L Assistant General Manager.

Every degree above 68, it's a three percent increase in your bill.

If you've been taxing your heating system, expect a higher utility bill in your mailbox before the end of the month. Water, Gas, and Light will work with customers, but if you get an extension, remember that bill is still adding up, so they say it's better to make some payment than none at all.

Water, Gas, and Light will also provide a free audit to find out where heat may be escaping your home. Simply call their office at (229) 883-8330 to make an appointment.


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