Budget billing helps avoid spikes in heating costs

dollar symbol next to "budget billing"Do you dread opening your monthly electric bill this winter, fearing the shock that comes with seasonal spikes in heating costs? Roanoke Electric Cooperative’s Budget Billing program can take away that element of surprise and offer member-owners, instead, some peace of mind.

Budget Billing is a stable payment plan that allows member-owners to pay one set amount each month, based on a household’s average energy expense over the last twelve months. Once that is determined, member-owners are billed the same amount each month, so they know in advance the amount due.

For those managing household expenses, this program is especially beneficial this time of year. Not only are heaters running, but folks also tend to stay inside more, consuming much more electricity.

“It gives member-owners more predictable bills by averaging the previous twelve months of energy use,” said Johnetta Chavis, supervisor of member services for the co-op. “That way, they can avoid unexpected spikes caused by seasonal changes.”

If the actual use differs from the budgeted amount, member-owners will receive a charge or a credit for the difference.

What follows are frequently asked questions about the co-op’s Budget Billing offering:

Q: If my budget bill and actual utility cost are getting seriously out of whack, do you let me know, or is there a way I can check that?

A: We keep a close eye on your electric bill and will display your year-to-date difference on each bill. This way, you know the difference between your actual bills and your budgeted amount.

Q: Say I manage to come in under your monthly budget-billing estimate. Do I get my money back?

A: If you used less energy than what you paid, a credit will be placed on your account for that amount to be applied to the next month’s bill.

Q: Do I have to have service for at least twelve months to get a budget billing amount?

A: Yes, an average of at least twelve months is needed to calculate an accurate budget billing amount.

If budget billing sounds like a good fit for you, contact the member services team at (252) 209-2236.