Local News

PWC working out extensions for customers with high January bills

Two snow storms plus 200 straight hours below freezing added up to an average temperature in Fayetteville in January of just 39.7 degrees, pushing home heating systems to their limits. Now, many customers of PWC are seeing their bills and wondering if the utility got its math right.

Posted Updated

Steve DeVane
, Fayetteville Observer
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Customer service representatives were prepared to help any customers who showed up for the PWC board meeting. Conservation specialists were ready to help customers interested in how they might be able to reduce their bills.

Dorothy Williams, who attended the meeting with Betty Johnson, said PWC officials are allowing her to pay her bill in two payments.

“We still have to pay it,” she said.

“We shouldn’t have to pay it,” Johnson said.

“It’s not a problem we created,” Williams added.

Williams said she and her family turned down the thermostat in their home while they were out of town for a week near Christmas.

“We came back and still had a high bill,” she said.

The high bills are partly related to an eight-day stretch in January. Trego said power usage was the utility’s highest ever for that amount of time.

Fowler said temperatures in the Fayetteville area were below freezing for 200 hours straight.

“That’s pretty rare for this area,” he said.

Trego said power bills for some homes were higher than customers might have expected because their heat pumps were not working efficiently in the cold weather.

“Heat pumps aren’t made to operate for 200 hours below freezing,” he said.

Trego encouraged customers to call the utility before their bills are due. The PWC is waiving late fees if an arrangement is worked out before the due date.

“We’re sympathetic to our customers,” he said.