By Washington Business Journal

A sizzling summer is leading to sharply higher utility bills in the mid-Atlantic, and Dominion Virginia Power is preparing customers for sticker shock.

The electricity provider says the amount of energy to cool a typical single-family home has increased significantly. Compared to June of last year, cooling energy needs were up 55 percent in Northern Virginia last month.

⿿Outdoor temperatures drive home energy use more than any other single factor,⿝ said Virginia Power Vice President of Customer Solutions and Energy Conservation Ken Barker. ⿿The extremely hot weather in recent weeks is sending just about everyone⿿s energy bills higher, but there are steps you can take to control your energy use.⿝

Virginia Power says raising the thermostat to 78 degrees can shave one percent or more off a monthly electric bill.

The effects of the heat last month were more pronounced South of Washington. Cooling costs in Richmond rose 76 percent. Richmond recorded its hottest June since 194 3 this year.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010