Cold Weather and Energy Consumption
They say there are only two things that are certain: death and taxes. However, there is a third certainty – when temperatures plunge or soar, energy usage and electric bills go up.
In the VEC service area temperatures typically start dropping dramatically in December and January. The temperature change prompts many to call and ask why the December bill is so much higher than the November bill.
If our members heat their home using electricity, the answer is pretty straightforward – the lower the outdoor temperature goes, the more power a home’s heating system must apply to raise the indoor temperature to a comfortable level.
For example, if the outdoor temperature is 60 degrees and a home’s thermostat is set at 70 degrees, the heating system will have to use enough energy to raise the indoor temperature by 10 degrees.
However, if the outdoor temperature drops to 20 degrees, the home’s heating system will have to use enough energy to raise the indoor temperature by 50 degrees to maintain the thermostat setting of 70 degrees – that’s five times as much energy.
Even if the homeowner lowers the thermostat to 65 degrees during the cold snap (which is too cool for most people), the heating system will still have to use enough energy to raise the indoor temperature by 45 degrees. That’s more than four times the energy than was used on the 70-degree day.
So when an energy consumer compares their fall bills to their winter bills, many times they are not comparing apples to apples. A more accurate similarity is to compare a January energy bill to another year’s January energy bill.
For more specific information about your energy usage visit our website www.vec.org and sign into your account. You can get the same information on your smartphone by downloading the SmartHub app from Google Play or the App Store.