NES Customers Experiencing Sticker Shock With Latest Bills - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NES Customers Experiencing Sticker Shock With Latest Bills

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by Shannon Royster

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With winter in full swing most people expect to receive higher electric bills, but some Nashville Electric Service customers said their latest bill was exceptionally higher than normal, and they want to know why.  

During this time of year many of us have been using more electricity, but when Kimberly Smith, an NES customer, opened up her latest electric bill, she said she couldn't believe it.

"It was a shock because I've never received an NES bill higher than my gas bill during the winter months," said Smith.

She said she has always been very aware of her thermostat setting, saying it hasn't budged.

"I just have a hard time understanding how it could go from $60 to $70 last winter, to being almost $140 or more this winter," she said.

Smith was not the only one to notice a dramatic increase.

Many people recently took to Facebook to address their concerns. One person said her bill shot from $105 to $190. Another customer said her bill jumped from $185 to $325.

NES spokesperson Laurie Parker said the increases came down to a few factors.

"The biggest thing that's affecting people's bills right now is the colder weather," said Parker. "It's much colder this December than it was in November, and even colder this December than it was last year."

TVA seasonal rate change also drove costs higher, as well as the monthly fuel cost adjustment. 

NES recently conducted bill evaluations for January and found the increase for an average residential home with 1300 kilowatts usage should only be up about 1.3 percent from last month.

Still, Smith said the increase just didn't seem right.

"It's common knowledge that your electric bill is going to go up in the dead of winter and summer, but when it's a drastic jump like that and you hear other people saying how drastic it is, it makes you wonder if there's something else," said Smith.

Parker insisted the colder weather was to blame for the higher bills.

"About 40 percent of your bill during the winter is due to your heating costs," she said.

Anyone having trouble paying their bill should contact NES immediately to set up payment arrangements. They may even be able to put you in contact with an agency to help with emergency assistance. 

Or, if you want to know what your bill will be every month, you can sign up for the NES balance billing program where they look at your past billing history over the last year and bill you your average monthly amount.

Customers who get behind in paying their electric bills without seeking help run the risk of NES disconnecting their service. However, officials said NES won't cut your electricity if the high temperature of the day is only expected to be at or below freezing - that's 32 degrees. 

Email: sroyster@newschannel5.com

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