In a statement issued by Laclede Electric company Tuesday afternoon, the company warned that electric useage broke records on January 2 and customers are likely to see higher bills in their next billing cycle.

"The month of December brought with it a dramatic swing in temperatures. For the first 15 days of the month, the average high was 52 degrees and average low was 29. However, for the second half of the month the average high was only 38 degrees and average low was 24, with eight days that never saw the daily high temperature reach above freezing. The start to 2018 hasn’t proved much better as New Year’s Day the temperature only reached 13 with a -5 for the low," Laclede said in its press release.

According to Marc Roecker, CEO for Laclede, the Cooperative set a new all-time high peak demand of 228 Megawatts on January 2, 2018. The previous high of 221 MWs was set back in January 2014. Roecker also reports that Laclede’s power supplier, Associated Electric, set a new system wide peak of 4,850 megawatt-hours on January 2, 2018.

The weather this week has warmed up a bit, which will help customers on their electric bills a little bit, if they're using electric to heat, but the overnight lows are still expected to remain below freezing. The seven day forecast is projecting lows ranging from 7° to 19° in the overnight hours, temperatures that are still very cold despite the highs in the 50's on Wednesday and Thursday.

"This cold weather is certainly going to have an impact on bills that our members receive at the end of January. In fact, looking at a 24-hour period on January 1st, nearly 1,200 accounts used at least 300 kilowatt hours, or $24.30, for the day," Laclede said.

Laclede Electric currently uses two billing cycles. Members can locate which cycle they are on by looking at the top right of their billing statement. There will either be a 1 or 3. Members on Cycle 3 will receive a bill in late January for usage from December 19, 2017 through January 18, 2018. Cycle 1 members will receive a bill in early February for usage from December 26, 2017 through January 25, 2018.

"In preparing for these bills, we encourage members to access their account through SmartHub either via the mobile app or website. This tool will allow you the opportunity to look at hourly, daily and monthly usage as well as compare it to last year. This invaluable tool also allows members to compare usage patterns in relation to the average temperature to get a better understanding of the consumption," Laclede said about checking individual customer bills.

The company says its employees will be happy to assist in answering any questions customers might have, if they would like to give their offices a call.

The Laclede office in Waynesville can be reached at 573-774-2281.