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
  • 8-1 Athens Rotary.JPG Hirsch speaks at Athens Rotary Thursday

    Henderson County Extension Agent Rick Hirsch spoke at the Athens Rotary Club weekly meeting on Thursday. Hirsch said unlike 2013, this year is a great year to grow anything. He also commented it was a good year to be in the cow business. Welcoming Hirsch to the Rotary Club are Rotary President Kelly Driskell and Rotarian John Trent.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0005.JPG Hydrating first responders

    First responders were invited Wednesday to the Athens Brookshire’s grocery to celebrate a promotion formulated by the store.  When customers purchase five 32-ounce bottles of Gatorade, they will receive 200 points. Customers are encouraged to donate the Gatorade to first responders. The promotion will last one month. Shown, from left, are Brookshire’s Store Manager Charles Beasley, Athens Police Department Patrolman Wesley Hoover, APD Cpl. Billy Westover, APD Assistant Chief Rodney Williams, APD Lt. Jeremy Hugghins, APD Patrolman Taylor Chancellor, APD Sgt. Eddie Smith, APD Chief Buddy Hill, Athens Fire Department Firefighter Brian Davis, AFD Firefighter Aaron Munn and AFD Firefighter Payton Lambe.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif HC fine-tuning application to get CETZ funds

    It’s been three months since Henderson County got word that money has been allocated from the Texas Department of Transportation in the form of a County Energy Transportation Zone grant, but Commissioners Court is still fine-tuning its application to get the funds.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-31 stokes mug.jpg Police arrest suspect with meth and scales

    A 47-year-old woman faces felony drug charges after she was arrested in Athens Tuesday morning.
    Connie Loraine Stokes was booked into the Henderson County Jail for manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and a traffic offense.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-31 free concert.jpg Corbin to perform at Cain Center

    Easton Corbin will be in Athens on Sunday, Aug. 3 to say “Thank You” with a free concert at the Cain Center. The invitation-only concert will begin at 4:30 p.m. The concert is free, but a ticket is required. Tickets can be obtained from any Athens or Brownsboro Future Farmers of America (FFA) member.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-31 Bark for life.jpg Bark for Life honors contributions of Canine Caregivers

    In honor of Canine Caregivers, Bark for Life, an American Cancer Society event, will be held at  Gun Barrel City Park on Saturday, Sept. 6 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    The event is to honor the life-long contributions of Canine Caregivers. It's an opportunity for everyone to be empowered through their canine companion partnership and to contribute to cancer cures.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bryan (pictured center) with the rest of team United States.jpg Mabank High School senior represents USA

    Amanda Woods of Mabank is very proud of her son, and for good reason. Seventeen-year-old Bryan Henderson, a senior at Mabank High School, just came home from playing baseball in Europe.
    In January of 2014, Woods received an e-mail from a college coach in New York. In that e-mail was an invitation for Bryan to join a 22-man baseball team to play 10 games against French and German National teams.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-31 CCL Rotary.jpg Silent auction Saturday, August 9

    Andrea Pickens at Tri-County Ford is collecting silent auction items for the upcoming Rotary at Cedar Creek Lake Celebrity Waiter event. Celebrity Waiter, the largest fundraiser the Rotary hosts, is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 9 at Athens Country Club. Any business wanting to donate an item to the silent auction can contact Kathi Nailling at 903-340-7597 or Andrea Pickens at 903-887-2121.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Third elementary school to replace Athens Intermediate School

    The Athens Independent School District school board approved campus realignment Monday that will go into effect for the 2015-16 school year.
    While full details of the plan are still being discussed, the district unanimously approved adding a third elementary school, while doing away with the intermediate level.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0128.JPG Laying Splash Pad bricks

    Workmen from Rosenberg’s Outdoor Designs of Athens are shown installing bricks purchased by individuals, businesses and other organizations at the Kiwanis Park Splash Pad.  Shown, left to right, are: Nick Rosenberg, owner of the company; Jonathan Perez and Gutierrez Concepcion.
     

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo