PADUCAH, Ky -
Bundling up to beat the cold. Local business owners are enduring the lower temps to save some money.
The single digit temperatures have settled into the Local 6 area which means many are struggling to maintain a manageable power bill. This includes businesses trying to balance keeping their customers comfortable without sending their bills through the roof.
Nationwide, the average cost of power is 12.56 cents per kilowatt hour, but this figure also incorporates the power rates from much larger cities like New York and Los Angeles. But in the Local 6 area, many power companies have rates higher than the national average. Some at more than 13 cents per kilowatt hour.
While the temperature drops almost 10 degrees from daytime to nighttime, the differing temperatures don't prove much different for businesses. With the cold elements in mind, many storefronts are forced to be a frugal as possible with their heat. Groundfloor shoes owner, Beth Devillez starts breaking out her cold weather gear in the winter months. Devillez says, "You bundle up, you put on sweaters, you put on gloves." She even knits a lot of her winter wear so she can continue her work despite the winter chill.
Devillez says it costs a lot to power her business, "In the winter time the electricity is the lights, the water heater and the heaters here."
She's one of many store owners who know the key to braving the cold when it comes to her business, is to turn down the thermostat, "When people come in off the street they're bundled up anyway." But Devillez says her customers immediately head for the small space heater she has set up.
Power rate advocate and local lawyer, Mark Bryant says this is unacceptable for his hometown, "It's a great little community. But if people can't afford to pay their electric bills they're going to have to move." This face is particularly fearful for Bryant because the rates are scaring prospective businesses away, "All the people that might consider bringing industry and jobs to Paducah they're not going to bring anything to Paducah."
So until Devillez knows her bill will get a break, it'll be up to her sweater and gloves to serve as her source of heat, "You have to stay warm, you have to stay in business."
There are so many precautions to take when it's this cold for both when you're inside and when you're outside. Layering up when you go outside to make sure you're prepared for the cold weather. And when you're trying to heat your interior, the power companies suggest you save by turning down the thermostat a couple degrees. Also remember to check the power usage on your space heater.
If you do use a space heater, the Red Cross reminds you to keep it at least three feet away from anything flammable.