The recent subzero weather conditions in Nebraska and throughout the Midwest are expected to affect consumer electric bills, but the Nebraska Public Power District does not foresee the same magnitude some in Texas may face.

“Many consumers helped us out by conserving energy wherever possible, and the biggest one would have been to lower the thermostat as well as not using some appliances such as washing machines, ovens, dishwashers and dryers,” said Mark Becker, NPPD supervisor for corporate media and media services.

If no conservation was done, the consumer may see an increase in their bill for February, he said.

Electric demand on NPPD’s system was up during the five days of record cold conditions, but there is no overall rate increase for NPPD’s 2021 electric rates, according to an NPPD press release.

NPPD’s board of directors sets rates each year, and the most recent rates approved, which went into effect on Feb. 1, have remained the same for the past eight years.

But electric bills are expected to be higher than normal when bills arrive in early March.

“If a customer used more electricity than they normally do, their bill will likely go up for the month,” said Pat Hanrahan, NPPD retail general manager. “Bills will be dependent on how much electricity each customer used, but the overall rate for electricity did not change. Customers who took conservation measures, like lowering their thermostats, may not see much of an increase. Customers who did not take conservative measures should expect to see a higher than normal electric bill.”

A typical Nebraska residence uses about 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, but some preliminary review appears to be running about 30% higher.

Having no overall rate increases for eight years is part of NPPD’s efforts as a public power organization to keep costs low for the consumers, doing so while still providing reliable electric service.

Customers who need to make payment arrangements or get energy assistance from local agencies are encouraged to contact NPPD at 1-877-ASK-NPPD. NPPD’s retail customers also may download NPPD’s mobile app (NPPD on the Go!). The mobile app may be used to set up notification preferences for billing or high usage alerts, e-billing, usage patterns and more.

In other news

STANTON — A 43-year-old Stanton woman was contacted during a traffic stop near Stanton early Saturday and arrested in connection with a variety of drug felonies.

YANKTON — The road that crosses Gavins Point Dam, also known as Crest Road, will be closed Monday, March 1, from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. for maintenance. People are asked to take alternate routes during the closure.