Black Warrior addresses cold weather energy bills

Black Warrior Electric Membership Corporation today issued a statement concerning the extreme cold weather in December and January and the effect that cold weather is having on members’ power bills.

“Due to an unusually cold December and January, Black Warrior Electric members consumed a record amount of electricity during our most recent billing period,” said Black Warrior EMC General Manager Daryl Jones. “Unfortunately, many customers will see unusually high power bills, particularly those who heat with electricity.”

The number of kilowatt hours members used hit a record level for the Dec. 18-Jan. 16 billing period. Fortunately, Black Warrior Electric’s rates are their lowest for any January since 2010. Black Warrior’s electric rates are also among the lowest in Alabama and the Southeast, and much lower than the average rates for electric cooperatives.

Both December and January saw sustained cold weather in Alabama, which many meteorologists termed artic blasts. In Demopolis, where Black Warrior is headquartered, December recorded 12 days at or below freezing (32 degrees). In January, Demopolis’ lows dipped below freezing 21 days. During the Dec. 18-Jan. 16 billing period, low temperatures reached freezing or below a total of 19 days.

In order to provide warmth for these frigid conditions, heat pumps must rely on the auxiliary heat strips to keep homes warm, Jones said. Many members utilize electric space heaters to supplement heating. All of these are extreme users of kilowatt hours.

Black Warrior Electric serves about 26,000 customers in 12 west central Alabama counties. To help members reduce their electricity usage, Black Warrior Electric recently posted energy-savings tips on its website and in publications that serve the region.

“We want our members to know that despite the recent extremely cold weather and the upcoming forecast for more of the same for next month’s billing, Black Warrior Electric is doing everything it can to inform our members about how to keep their power bills as low as possible,” Jones said. “Using our AMR (automated) meter reading system, we were able to monitor the extreme usage and reduce this billing period by two days. We encourage any of our members who have questions about their usage to contact our office in Demopolis to inquire about receiving a daily consumption report to review.”

For more information about Black Warrior Electric Membership Corporation and energy-saving tips, go to the cooperative’s website at

Black Warrior Electric Membership Corporation is a member-owned cooperative that serves about 26,000 customers in 12 counties in west central Alabama.