BECKLEY, WVNS (WVNS) — With winter comes the cold and snow, and this winter Southern West Virginia had a lot of both. 

As temperatures continue to drop, people need to stay warm. Phil Moye is a spokesperson with Appalachian Power. He said the cost of your electric bill can go up depending on how you heat your home. 

“In our area, many people may heat with electricity and when you heat with electricity, whether it is a heat pump or baseboard heating, that makes bills highest in the wintertime when temperatures are cold,” Moye said.

Moye said every year, the company files with the Public Service Commission for Expanded Net Energy Cost or ENEC. This helps the company look at how much money they spend on fuel to run their plants; however, last year the cost increased.

“Last year’s filing, we haven’t seen and increase in the cost of our rates since 2016 in that part of the rate, so last year those cost went up. So, really it makes the cost go up by $11.70 for every thousand kilowatts hours someone is using. So that is the impact on the rates,” Moye continued.

So Moye suggested signing up for their average monthly payment program if you are on a budget or want to see lower monthly payments. 

“We are on the average monthly payment program plan is what we call it, and what that does is level out your bill, so that it is predictable. Rather than having those spikes in the winter or in the summer, you pay the average of the last 11 months of the bill, and so that helps to level out your payments. So it is much more predictable than it is you actually just paying for the actual usage that month,” Moye stated.

Staying warm while also saving a little cash this winter season. Moye also said they offer a free energy assessment, where someone will come out to your home to see how your energy is being used. For more information on how you can sign up, visit their website.