February tends to be our most wintry month across South Central Texas, and consequently, one of our most expensive for AC/heating costs. Although we don’t normally experience much snow or ice here, we do get our share of frigid air and frosted-over mornings, with the occasional freezing precipitation event. This can send heaters into overdrive, driving up electric usage and bills.

March, on the other hand, typically gives heaters a breather, but isn’t generally warm enough to require AC usage. This fact delivers some welcome relief for our wallets—eventually. However, the expectation of lower AC/heating costs should be tempered with the reality that any spring-like temperatures during March won’t be reflected in that month’s electric bill. This is because your March billing period won’t include any temperate weather we may experience as the calendar rolls over from February.

How GVEC Billing Cycles Work

GVEC electric bills run on a 30 or 31-day billing period. Most—if not all—of the days in your March bill will have occurred in February. Look closely at any GVEC bill: The last day charged for service for that cycle (the “Service Dates”) will be somewhere between seven and 14 days before the “Billing Date.” You’ll need to look further back on the calendar, though, to understand how February and even late-January cold can affect March bills. Your March bill could well include weather that happened 4-6 weeks before the billing date. It’s not hard to see then, why weather we’re experiencing on the day you receive a bill or in the days leading up to a bill is no predictor of the amount charged. Don’t despair, though. Your April bill, which covers most of March, will include much of the hopefully mild weather we typically enjoy that time of year.

Energy Efficiency — Always in Season

No matter the time of year, actively working to manage and reduce usage can make a significant difference in your electricity costs. One powerful way to help do this is through the My Usage feature in our SmartHub® self-service portal. To use SmartHub from a desktop computer, log in at gvec.org. You can also download the free app from the App Store or Google Play. Additionally, follow GVEC on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for year-round tips for cutting usage, and read our blog at gvec.org. You can also call one of our knowledgeable customer service representatives at 800.223.4832. They’re always happy to discuss your bill with you and address any questions or concerns.

I am always interested in your comments and feedback. Contact me by phone at 830.857.1152, by email at dschauer@gvec.org or by mail at P.O. Box 118, Gonzales, Texas 78629.

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