Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Breaking News

Local News

January 23, 2014

Nightmare electric bills

Colder winter causes problems

Athens — Electric bills have already taken a big bite out of some people’s budgets this winter, and the National Weather Service is saying more cold weather is settling in.

The National Weather Service recorded 21 days at or below the freezing mark in Athens during December. December was ranked as one of the coldest on record with an average low temperature of 32.68 degrees. The last time we’ve seen such extended periods of cold, fuel costs were much lower, so many customers are seeing their biggest electric bill ever.

“I think people have gotten used to mild winters,” Oncor Area Manager Tom Trimble said.  “When you see mild winters year-after-year, you expect them. It surprises people.”

Those with heat pumps are in for an even bigger shock.

“When it gets really cold, your heat pumps can’t keep up with it,” Trimble said. “They’re not very efficient. They go into kind of an emergency-heat situation. It goes to heat strips and uses resistance power. That is a lot more expensive, and uses a lot more kilowatt hours.”

When the energy costs are so high, customers have trouble paying the bill.  Oncor won’t turn off the power in times of extreme cold.

“If it’s really cold weather, we get a notice from our office saying we won’t disconnect,” Trimble said. “But with deregulation, if the service provider tells us to disconnect a house, we don’t have any choice.”

Oncor Electric tells customers to keep the thermostat at no higher than 68 degrees in winter or lower than 78 degrees in summer. Turn off the lights when you leave a room, and turn off devices not in use.

The Trinity Valley Electric website tells customers that many electronics continue to use a small amount of power when they are turned off. Phantom loads can be avoided by unplugging the device from the wall outlet, or utilizing a power strip to cut off all power to the appliance.

TVEC customers with advanced meters can go online and track how much energy they use each day.  They can also compare the temperatures each day with the kilowatt usage. Oncor has also installed “smart meters,” and gives customers the chance to see their power usage, and possibly make adjustments, if they’re headed for a big electric bill.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • • DSC_0162.JPG Ramps for handicapped

    Encino Landscaping is doing a necessary job for the Texas Department of Transportation Tyler District. All four corners of the block upon which the Henderson County Courthouse rests are being converted to better serve handicapped pedestrians.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Appearance and operation of Splash Pad upgraded

    The Splash Pad at Athens Kiwanis Park has been closed this week, as work is being done that will upgrade the appearance of the surroundings and operation of the facility.
    The pad is now well into its first full summer of operation, and has proven to be a popular spot for youngsters in the city.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif GBC official asked to resign

    Gun Barrel City resident Carroll Strickland asked Councilman Marty Goss “to do the right thing and resign.”
    Strickland spoke to the GBC council during the citizen's comment portion of the Tuesday evening’s council meeting. Strickland  accused Goss of trying to take over the GBC Economic Development Corporation (EDC).
    In a prepared statement, Strickland said,  “Marty is doing harm to the city's reputation. I am asking the mayor and the city council to do something about the situation.”

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Nutt says being part of task force has really paid off

    Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt reports that being a part of the Drug Enforcement Task Force in Tyler has paid off in a big way with the arrest of two major drug distributors.
    On May 13, following an investigation initiated in January by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office investigators, Uleyses Roberts, 45, and Dijon Howard, 25, were arrested by a task force of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The men were charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Unemployment jumps up in HC

    The Henderson County unemployment rate jumped up in July, according to figures from the Texas Workforce Commission.
    The Henderson County unemployment rate of 5.7 percent was an increase of .4 percent over June. The county saw both an increase in the size of the workforce and the number without jobs.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-24 gbc.jpeg Gift card to Chili’s

    Ralph Fortner, Chairman of the Gun Barrel City Chapter of the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, presents Jamie Snuffer a gift card to Chili's Restaurant in Gun Barrel City. Fortner was thanking Snuffer for her volunteer efforts on behalf of the GBC Chamber Chapter during the recent July Fest held in GBC. Snuffer is the secretary for the CCLACC Ambassadors.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-23 Coaches at Kiwanis.jpg Coaches speak to Kiwanis Club

    Trinity Valley Community College Volleyball Coach Tosha Spain and Softball Coach Ashley Johnston were guest speakers at the Athens Kiwanis Club on Tuesday. The volleyball season begins in August, and the softball team starts its 30-game fall schedule in September.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-23 Victoria.jpg Emotional response given to Victoria's death

    The tragic news of 4-year-old Victoria Wyatt’s violent death set off an emotional response on Monday, with words of consolation for the child’s family and anger at the girl’s mother who admitted to taking her life. But mostly sorrow at the loss of one so young.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif AISD readies for annual backpack distribution

    Athens Independent School District and the Help Center are teaming up once again to provide backpacks and supplies to students in need.
    The annual Back-to-School Bash is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 9 at the Athens High School gym during the family fun day.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-23 Open house grace house.jpg Open house at Grace House transition location

    Grace House of Cedar Creek Lake, a faith-based transitional home for women, held an open house on Monday evening. The facility for women is 6,000 square feet on 13 acres in Tool.
    Grace House includes a kitchen and a classroom equipped with computers for training and practice, as well as dorm-type rooms for the residents.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo