Depending on the time of year, weather can cause your electric usage – and your power bill – to change dramatically. Budget Billing is a free service that eliminates those extreme peaks by leveling out your payment, so you pay roughly the same amount year-round.
Budget Billing smooths out seasonal power bill changes
Depending on the time of year, weather can cause your electric usage to change dramatically - and also your power bill. For most customers, the highest bills are in the summer, when you use air conditioning the most. If your home has electric heat, your bill may also peak in the extreme cold winter months. With Budget Billing, you can find comfort in knowing what to expect each month because you'll pay roughly the same amount year-round. Budget Billing is not a discount program, but it allows you to better manage your monthly budget by keeping your monthly energy costs predictable and manageable. Some months you will pay less than your actual bill and some months you will pay more to make up that difference, keeping your bills more consistent.
Here's how it works
When you sign up for Budget Billing, we first determine an average monthly bill amount by simply dividing your total electric bills for the past 12 months by 12 and rounding that amount to the nearest dollar. This gives us your first monthly Budget Billing amount. Then we recalculate your Budget Billing amount monthly to make sure your average usage has not changed significantly. If there is a change, we adjust your next monthly Budget Billing amount. To make sure you are aware of this change, we will let you know this new amount the month before we start billing you.
Each month, your billing statement will show how much your actual bill is along with your Budget Billing amount. We track the difference in what was actually used versus what was paid. This difference may fluctuate up and down depending on your energy usage habits and is used to determine if a new Budget Billing amount is needed.
If you discontinue the program or close your account, this balance will be applied to your next bill.
There's no fee to enroll, it's easy to manage and completely worry-free. It's just another way we can help you better manage your monthly energy costs.
What is Budget Billing?
Budget Billing is a free program that averages the highs and lows of your electric bills by giving you an average price to pay each month. It is not a discount because you will pay the for all of your actual usage, but with budget billing it is levelized. Keep in mind that your budget billing amount may change over time as your average usage increases or decreases. We will notify you a month in advance on your bill statement when the budget billing amount adjusts.
What happens if I want to cancel the Budget Billing program?
The Budget Billing Program can be stopped at any time. However, the difference between the current usage amount and Budget Billing amount becomes due on the next month’s statement. Please contact us if you are no longer interested in being enrolled.
What are the eligibility requirements for Budget Billing?
Customers must have been at their current residence and in good financial standing with Alabama Power over the previous 12 months. Additionally, customers must not have discontinued the program in the last 12 months.
How is Budget Billing different from FlatBill?
Both programs offer an alternate way of paying the high seasonal bills. However, the notable difference is that FlatBill is a contracted set price over a 12-month period while the Budget Billing amount may fluctuate depending on usage.
How does weather impact my bill?
On the current traditional rate, you will have higher monthly bills as your usage increases [For example: higher air conditioner usage during the hot summer months and higher heating usage during the winter months (with electric heating). With Budget Billing, the cost of your seasonal bills is spread out over a year.
Will I be able to view my actual usage while enrolled in the Budget Billing program?
Once enrolled in the program, a new section will appear on your billing statement which will allow you to monitor all aspects of the program. Included in this section is the actual dollar amount of the electricity used, the difference between the current usage amount and the Budget Billing amount, and how much total accrued difference there is between what has been used to date and what has been paid through the Budget Billing payments.
Note your Budget Billing amount may change over time as your average usage increases or decreases.