PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va (WRIC) – Some Dominion Energy customers are seeing their electric bills skyrocket following the recent historic ice storms.

But, Dominion Energy said the storms aren’t necessarily the cause.

When Darryl Fields opened his power bill for February, he said he was ‘flabbergasted’ to see it jump from around $200 in January to now over $400.

Plus, the units of energy he’s used from January to February went up nearly 130%.

Fields said an electrician came out to make sure nothing was drawing a large amount of power, but nothing was found wrong.

Fields shared that people in his neighborhood are seeing normal bills, but he’s not the only one seeing an increase. His friend in Chester saw their bill increase hundreds of dollars as well.

Dominion Energy Communications Specialist Rich Tran said the recent historic ice storms have nothing to do with the high power bills, rather this time of year and with the storms, people use heat more, possibly causing the increase.

However, Fields said his thermostat has stayed consistent.

“I’d say that’s the wrong answer. And I’m going to go back to the technician. Somebody should’ve been looking at this well before it happened. So, your technician, your people, you all should have a mechanism in place to manage this before it gets there,” Fields told 8News Sunday.

If you are one of these customers experiencing a high electricity bill, Dominion Energy asks you to call them at 1-866-366-4357.

Statement from Dominion Energy

“I understand why he would be upset with such a significant increase. This winter has required more heating. We’ve experienced two large ice storms in February, one being the largest we’ve experienced in 20 years. The increase in the customer’s bill isn’t a result of the power outages, but rather the temperatures. The increase in energy usage to combat those low temperatures and ice from the historic event have the large impact, especially compared to the previous month. Customers already pay monthly for our transmission system to have enough spare generating capacity to avoid power shortages. This ensures our customer receive safe, reliable energy.”

Tran also included information on how heating affects energy usage.

  • It’s common in the winter, when heating systems run around the clock, holiday lights and house guests use extra energy and folks spend more time at home.
  • When the temperatures drop, energy usage goes up.
    • Heating accounts for 42% of energy use in normal weather.
  • Additionally, the customer’s recent bill may be attributed to outside temperature being about 17% colder than previous period and about 15% colder than last year.
  • Things that a customer can do to help keep bills low:
    • Keep thermostat at 68 degrees.
    • Limit the use of electric space heaters for supplemental heating.
    • Get an HVAC tune-up.
    • Change filter each month.
  • Less daylight out around this time means more lighting used indoors.
    • Lighting accounts for 20% of energy use:
    • Upgrade to LED bulbs.
    • Lighting, cooking and entertaining means more energy use.
  • If you need more time to pay your energy bill, we offer short-term payment extensions.
    • Available to residential customers, small businesses, mid-size businesses, and places of worship.
    • No fees, extra charges, or down payment required for enrolling.
    • Payment must be scheduled prior to your next bill date.
  • If you just can’t keep up with your bill, we also offer long-term payment plans.
    • Available to residential customers, small businesses, mid-size businesses, and places of worship.
    • No fees, extra charges, or down payment required for enrolling.
    • Past balance is divided into equal payments for up 12 months.