If you set your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter, when it is 19 degrees outside, your heating systems have to work hard to make up that 49-degree difference. Your HVAC unit and your water heater work harder and cycle on and off more often, making your usage much higher.
That means your bill will be much higher. Even when members use other sources of heat, often times an electric blower is used to supplement a gas heater or fireplace which will run more during times of extreme cold and contribute to higher usage.
Be sure to monitor your usage with your Cooperative's web app, make sure any emergency heating settings on your thermostats aren't turned on, and be aware that space heaters and similar auxiliary devices are highly inefficient.
Always feel free to reach out to your member services department to discuss your electricity use and energy efficiency programs. You can also find more information at https://www.AECC.com/smart-energy-tips(link is external) as well!