CDE Lightband has a prepaid option that allows customers to pay ahead before using electricity. Prepaid is a great option for customers who are on the go or want a better grasp of their daily energy consumption. Similar to how your gas gauge shows you when your gas tank starts getting low, CDE notifies pre-paid customers when their account funds are running out. Customers can then add funds, and daily text messages inform customers about how and when they are using power.
In milder temperatures, your day-to-day energy usage and prepaid costs are going to stay about the same. However, in extreme temperatures, especially during Winter, your usage may increase drastically. Those customers with gas heat may not see this change on their electric bill, but it will be apparent on their gas bill.
It can be difficult to conserve energy in winter months if you use an electric heating system. When the temperature drops below freezing, (and it will… many times) your HVAC system will convert to “Aux” mode or “Emergency Heat” mode. This can be sort of like having your loving heat pump transform into the demented furnace from Home Alone. The only problem is; telling the heat pump to “shut up” won’t help. It will only get angrier. You ever feed a Mogwai after midnight? (We’ll pause while you Google what a Magwai is.) — Nothing good happens right? To learn more about how electric heat pumps work read Energy Insight: How do electric heatpumps work?. To learn more about how Mogwai work, you’ll have to watch Gremlins.
Prepaid customers have an advantage. Why you ask? Well, most utility customers have to wait an entire month before noticing an issue with their heating system or to become aware of the drastic increase in their usage due to colder temperatures. Pre-paid customers can catch this on the front end.
When you notice a spike in usage it’s always best practice to give us a call. When you call, we can verify the usage and meter reading is accurate. We can then look into why the increase happened. More than likely, it will be due to abnormally cold temperatures and the fact you have an electric heating system. We can further investigate advanced meter data and see what time of day your usage was highest and offer our best energy saving practices.
The beginning of Winter is also a great time to have your HVAC system serviced. There might be a mechanical issue, and if you’re a pre-paid customer you’ll be able to identify the issue and resolve it before receiving a high electric bill. To skip calling us and get a better handle on energy usage please see our other articles on energy saving best practices.