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Troy utility usage not at unusual levels

With temperatures hitting highs above the 100 mark this summer, one major Alabama utility company hit its annual usage peak.

But, the city of Troy, which receives its power from the Alabama Power Company, hasn’t had the same results.

While Troy’s Utility Department has seen a significant increase in usage, it isn’t something extremely out of the ordinary, said Brian Morgan, director of administration.

From June to July this year, usage for the city increased about 14 percent, going from about 30 million to 34 million kilowatt hours.

That’s something Morgan attributes to weather conditions.

“It’s entirely based on the weather conditions and how long people run their heating and cooling industry,” Morgan said.

But, while usage was up, he said overall those figures are pretty consistently fluctuating through the year.

“Our industry maintains a pretty steady load,” he said.

“Everybody has to keep their places cool, and when the temperatures are real high, the usage will go up.”

Alabama Power’s usage last week with 11,732 megawatts, an amount that could power 3 million homes at the same time using an average load, reported the Birmingham News.

Morgan said Troy has seen a similar usage peak earlier in the year during the extreme cold temperatures of late winter.

“Back in the winter we had a month equally as high,” he said.

While the usage has increased from July last year to this year just slightly, Morgan said average utility bills have decreased.

Residents on average are paying around $155 for just the electricity portion of their utility bills, where last year they were paying around $146 per family.

Morgan said that’s because the cost of supply has decreased from Alabama Power.

“In general, the costs from Alabama Power to us were lower,” Morgan said.

The city’s utility department has recently implemented its new online payment system, where customers can pay with a credit card at troyalabama.com. Now, Morgan said residents can go online and sign up to get their utility bill statements in their e-mail accounts instead of through the mail, a move that also would save the city of Troy money.