Cold Weather Impacts SMU Customer's Electric Usage

03/05/2014 3:29 PM

Most Spencer Municipal Utilities (SMU) residential customers have noticed an increase on their electric bills this year compared to last year due to the cold temperatures we’ve been experiencing.

SMU’s total residential sales for February 2014 was 8,266,199 kilowatt hours compared to 6,947,814 in February 2013. This was an 18.9% increase in residential electric consumption when comparing the month of February over the last two years.


Total Residential Sales in Kilowatt Hours

Average Kilowatt Hour Cost

January 2013


6.2 cents

February 2013


6.3 cents

January 2014


6.6 cents

February 2014


6.6 cents

“While we have implemented a rate increase in the last year, the main reason customers are experiencing higher electric charges than last year is due to the cold temperatures we’ve been experiencing and the increase in usage,” says Amanda Gloyd, SMU marketing and community relations manager.

Even customers who use gas as their primary heat source are seeing an increase in electric usage as many of those heating systems use electricity to run the gas furnace or boiler.

As previously announced, in the American Public Power Association (APPA) 2012 electric rate study, SMU’s residential customers paid the lowest rate of any residential electric customer in the state of Iowa. “SMU’s average kilowatt hour cost in 2013 was 6.3 cents and this year it was 6.6 cents during the month of February, which is less than a 5% increase including the energy cost adjustment,” adds Gloyd.

While the weather impacts usage, another important consideration is efficiency. “One step customers can take to improve their usage is to look at how energy efficient the home is, and our rebate program may be able to financially assist with some improvements,” adds Gloyd. To learn more about the 2014 resource conservation program, visit the SMU website at

Spencer Municipal Utilities is a leading provider of cable, internet, telephone and iWireless cellular service in the Spencer community and has been providing water since 1886 and electric services since 1901.

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