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Unusually cold temps and heat pumps

Expect higher energy use if your home uses a heat pump

Brrrr. It’s cold out there.

Our area had an extreme cold snap for several days after Christmas through the new year. The average temperature was 11 degrees on December 26 and remained low on the 27th. It rose for a couple days then dipped again from December 30 through January 2. January temperatures remained cold averaging 33 degrees and dropping down into the single digits.

These cold temperatures mean heating systems work harder to keep you warm. By the time you pay your gas or electric bill in late January or early February for this energy use, you may not recall this cold snap. It will show in your energy use and a higher bill amount though.

“We’re asking members with electric heat sources, such as heat pumps, to expect high bills in February too,” said Chris Purdy, vice president of Member Solutions. “Please understand that it’s no different than those people who use natural gas or propane as heat sources. Energy bills are higher when temperatures hit extremes.”

All Electric

Several types of electric heat sources exist. If you’re using an air source heat pump with in-floor heating for back-up purposes, your bill may be especially high. This is because the system may rely 100 percent on those electric strips in the floor during extreme cold. This blog post from Nordic Heating and Cooling in Canada offers a good explanation of how heat pumps operate.


Avoid surprises in your electric bill by using SmartHub to monitor unbilled energy use.  You can overlay the temperature on the energy use chart to view how it impacts your bill.

Weatherproofing your home by sealing leaks and cracks is another way to save energy. For more information and free resources on ways to reduce your bill, visit the ‘Ways to Save’ page under ‘Account’ at

More Help

If you need help understanding your bill or your energy use, please call TCEC at 580.652.2418 during regular business hours or email us at

Don’t let the cold chill your winter bills. Take steps today to manage your energy use.

Published January 25, 2018

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