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Costly cold: Region's electric bills up this winter

Wednesday - 3/5/2014, 6:37am  ET

WASHINGTON -- Layers just haven't been enough this winter, so people have cranked the heat and left it on.

Now comes the sticker shock.

From September through January, the average residential bill was markedly higher than the previous year across the region.

"Roughly 10 percent [higher] for our Pepco Maryland residential customers, and somewhere around 8 percent higher for our District of Columbia residential customers," says spokesman Marcus Beal, who first prepared the numbers for ABC7.

Pepco's residential average bills for D.C.     Pepco's residential average bills for Maryland  
Sept. 2013 $97.48    Sept. 2013 $132.65
Oct. 2013 $73.41    Oct. 2013 $100.25
Nov. 2013 $65.89    Nov. 2013 $82.24
Dec. 2013 $85.04    Dec. 2013 $115.18
Jan. 2014 $97.10    Jan. 2014 $136.04
         
Sept. 2012 $97.48    Sept. 2012 $127.95
Oct. 2012 $69.19    Oct. 2012 $91.89
Nov. 2012 $58.84    Nov. 2012 $76.56
Dec. 2012 $77.29    Dec. 2012 $100.96
Jan. 2013 $84.42    Jan. 2013 $114.20

Dominion Power also reported a surge in demand.

"We actually set new records for peak winter demand twice in the month of January," says Le-Ha Anderson, a Dominion Power spokeswoman.

The record-setting days were Jan. 7 and Jan. 30.

"Both times it happened at 8 o'clock in the morning, which is when we see a lot of people using electricity as they're getting ready for work," she says.

Power companies do have special payment arrangements for customers who may be struggling with the high winter bills.

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