Monthly Archives: November 2015


The Hidden Costs of Winter

By | 2017-12-27T15:03:21+00:00 November 16th, 2015|News|

With winter weather comes a whole mess of inconveniences. Chores like scraping icy windows, shoveling snow, and chopping ice to keep stock water drinkable, just to name a few. The last thing anyone wants is to see a huge spike in the electric bill that they just can’t seem to account for. If you’re wondering what on earth is driving your high winter bill, here are some common wintertime culprits and what you can do about them.

Space Heaters

  • Sizes from 600 – 1,500 watts on
  • 10 hours a day can drive your bill up by $12 to $29 per heater each month.
  • Space heaters should be used sparingly.

Please remember to contact us if you’re considering purchasing a new space heater. While the marketing material may say they’ll save you 50% on your electricity bill, the reality is a 1,500 watt heater by any manufacturer plugged in for 24 hours will use the same amount of electricity and cost you exactly the same!

Vehicle Engine Block Heaters

  • Sizes vary from 1,000 – 1,800 watts
  • Can add $23 to$42 per month

It is only necessary to plug most vehicles in for one or two hours before starting. Consider purchasing an outdoor rated timer and extension cord.

Stock Tank Heaters

  • Sizes vary from 750 to 1,500 watts
  • Can run $34 to $70 per month in the coldest months.

Look for low use or energy efficient models that are available. If you’re interested in installing a no-freeze insulated stock tank, contact REC for information on potential rebates.

Well Pumps

A 2 horse power (HP) pump with a broken shut-off switch or faulty check valve will run non-stop and consume about 1,500 watts per hour. This added load could boost your monthly bill by $69.

How to Test

If you suspect that your bill is artificially high, start with a load test. Turn all your breakers off and while one person watches the meter, turn each breaker on for a few seconds to see which one makes the cursor move faster. Start with the “double pole” breakers first. The faster the cursor moves, the more electricity is used by that circuit. Once you isolate the breaker, it should just be a matter of seeing what is hooked to that circuit.

For more information contact our Member Services Department 961-3001.