Mild winter brings relief from high heating bills

Has the mild weather made a difference in your heating bills? Appalachian Power and Roanoke Gas say many of their customers are benefitting from the warmer temperatures this winter.
Friends Kristen Whitaker and April Johnson say they're still struggling  to pay their power bills. "It's been a warmer season, but the electric bill's still high," Johnson told WDBJ7. But others we encountered on a sunny afternoon said they've enjoyed a break from the bills of winters past.

"The one we all remember is the winter of 2009 - 2010," said Appalachian Power Spokesman Todd Burns, "and this winter compared with that winter is about 38 percent warmer in terms of heating degree days. That translates into about 21 percent less energy that our customers are using this year compared to what they used back in 2009 and 10."

It might not be a record breaking winter, but Roanoke Gas President John Williamson says it comes close. And the price of natural gas is also at a ten-year low.

"We've been tracking weather here for 81, 82 years and this is third or fourth warmest," Williamson told WDBJ7. "And if the weather stays warm it could wind up second or third on the list in 80 years."