RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Check your mail - the nasty cold snap we just had will probably mean a nasty energy bill!
Some NBC12 viewers have already reached out, concerned about how high their bills are. You have a few options, but first and foremost, you should probably expect a monster energy bill on the way.
We know a lot of people are running low on extra money after the holidays, so we've got a few options to help you if your bill is expensive.
The snow is melting and RVA is emerging from the deep freeze, but we're not out of the chilly reality just yet. As nice as it was to run from the car to the house and warm up, those electric bills are coming.
"Last week was the coldest week we've had on record in Richmond, and because of that, we also had the highest demand for electricity," said Janell Hancock with Dominion Energy.
Dominion Energy says Saturday was the most electricity it has ever provided. Sunday was the second highest use day in the company's history.
When you figure the cold with the extra energy use needed for hosting around the holidays - those delightful tacky lights, the kids home all day from school - this next power bill might be hard to swallow.
"But when you see that bill, you don't have to panic," said Janell Hancock with Dominion Energy.
If you get your bill and that panic sets in anyway, here's what you need to do. Go online and log into your Dominion account and see if you can set up a payment plan or break the bill up over a couple of bills. For some people, a one-time payment assistant option could be available by dialing 211 on your phone. Whatever route you take, do it as soon as you get your bill.
"If you wait on it, it tends to snowball. The account balance can get higher and higher and present a problem for you," said Janell Hancock with Dominion Energy. "We always want to keep our customers connected, we want to offer them solutions and they have more options the earlier on in the process they reach out to us or go on to their account."
It's also a good idea to keep track of your power usage, so you don't have any big surprises. You can track your power use month to month, even year to year.
"It shows right there that the weather was ten degrees colder than it was last month so that's why my bill was higher because it was colder and my heating system had to work harder," said Janell Hancock with Dominion Energy.
Keep in mind when your bill cycle starts and ends. If the holidays and last week are all in the same cycle, your bill could be brutal. If it splits somewhere in there, it might not be as bad.
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