IMPERIAL — With temperatures expected to creep into the triple digits next week before getting hotter, electricity bills are expected to increase dramatically.
By the middle of next week temperatures are expected to be between 103 and 105 degrees.
Even with that, Imperial Irrigation District electrical rates are some of the lowest in the state.
For homes that use the average of 1,000 kilowatts a month, the IID rate is $124 a month, with Pasadena coming in a close second at $126 a month.
San Diego Gas and Electric has some of the highest rates in the state at $371 a month for homes using 1,000 kilowatts.
Examples of electrical rates in other communities for customers who use 1,000 kilowatts a month include Burbank at $159 a month, Riverside at $167 a month, Los Angeles Water and Power at $176 and Anaheim at $184 a month.
Glendale’s rate is $195 a month, and Edison come in at the second highest at $236 a month.
IID has some of the lowest energy rates in California for some very good reasons, said IID Public Affairs Officer Robert Schettler. Unlike for-profit investor-owned utilities, IID was created by the public to serve the public.
“Our electric rates are set accordingly, with revenues being reinvested into the system” he said.
IID is also its own balancing authority. This means that IID is responsible for maintaining the electricity balance within its region.
“While IID energy rates are low, and we want to keep them that way, energy consumption varies from person to person and business to business. With energy consumption obviously increasing in the summer, your bill will reflect your energy usage,” Schettler said.
IID always prepares for the heavy demand for energy during the summer.
“Essentially, we take our summer energy load forecast and secure an additional 15 percent beyond what the forecast calls for (in order to have 15 percent in energy reserve),” he said.
For this summer, IID’s forecasted peak is 1,061 megawatts, so it has 1,220 megawatts secured. This energy comes from its own generation resources and the optimization of the market.
IID recommends customers, during the summer, set their air conditioners to 78 degrees or higher when home, and if out of the house for an extended period of time, they should raise the setting to 88 degrees to save money.
Every degree a thermostat is set higher than 78 degrees during the summer can reduce electric bills 6 percent to 8 percent, which in IID’s case is $8.44 to $9.60 a month on 1,000 kilowatts per month.
There are other ways to cut down on the cost of electrical bills.
Air conditioners are the single largest consumer of electricity in homes, so proper maintenance of the equipment will help it run more efficiently, use less electricity and reduce the cost of repairs.
Other tips from IID include:
• Avoid using major appliances between peak hours of 4 and 8 p.m.
• Use a ceiling fan.
• Block the sun from overheating your home. Inside, use shades, blinds and drapes.
• Plug electronics into a power strip and then turn the strip off when not in use.
• Use the power management settings on computers and monitors.
• Replace the five most-used light fixtures and/or bulbs with ENERGY STAR® products.
• Change or clean your air conditioner’s filter at least once a month to keep the system running at peak performance
“When we all conserve energy, we can curb what IID needs to acquire from the market, and that helps keep rates low,” Schettler said.