Billing & Payments

Do your highest electric bills come in the winter?

Why all-electric homes are most expensive to power during colder months

Although this winter has seen warmer than normal temperatures, the occasional cold snap is still inevitable. If your home is heated by an electric HVAC system, you may find yourself wondering why your bill is more expensive in the winter. After all, Texans run air conditioning more than heat, right?

There are two key reasons why your all-electric home is more expensive to warm than to cool. First, the difference between the outside temperature and the temperature set on your thermostat is typically greater in the winter than summer. In the summer, the difference is typically not more than 22-25 degrees; but in the winter, that range can climb to 30-40 degrees. A bigger temperature differential means your HVAC is working harder to maintain a comfortable setting.

Second, heating with electricity is the most expensive way to heat a home. An average home with a four-ton HVAC system in PEC’s service territory will spend about $0.50 to $0.60 per hour to cool. When that unit goes into heat mode, the cost will range from $0.50 to $2 an hour.

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Set your thermostat as low as you can tolerate to help reduce cost; we recommend 68 degrees or lower. Increase your heat setting by no more than two degrees at a time to prevent the less efficient auxiliary heat from kicking on. Electric space heaters, when used safely and properly, are also a great option for efficiently warming small, enclosed areas of your home, such as bathrooms or bedrooms, and allow you to avoid heating unoccupied areas of the house.

Payment extension

If you find yourself in a position where you can’t pay your electric bill, PEC wants to work with you to prevent service disconnection. PEC allows qualifying members the opportunity to temporarily extend the due date of their bills.

If you need to extend the due date on your current monthly bill, a payment extension may be the right option. Please note that once an extension is granted, it is not permanent; your due date will return to the original date listed on your next bill. You can find the billing extension option on SmartHub under Billing & Payments, or call 888-554-4732.