What to expect on your February bill
Although Winter Storm Heather didn’t bring much snow or ice, the freezing temperatures from Jan. 14 through 17 did cause an increase in energy use.
As your trusted energy advisor, CoServ wants our electric Members and gas Customers to understand why bills are higher this month.
When comparing this January to December, you will notice a dramatic difference in usage. That’s because, in December 2023, temperatures were slightly above normal, so energy usage was lower. Based on the January 2024 temperatures, heater use increased 79 percent from December 2023.
The low temperatures during the winter storm were 13, 11, 12 and 15 degrees! That means if you had your thermostat set to the Department of Energy recommended setting of 68 degrees, your heater had to overcome a more than 50-degree difference between the outside and inside temperatures. If you set your thermostat above 68, the energy usage will be even higher.
The average temperature was 43 degrees, 9.8 degrees lower than the previous month. There were 24 nights where the temperature was 40 degrees or lower.
A common question that CoServ Customer Care Specialists receive when Members and Customers have high bills is, “I didn’t change my habits and I kept my thermostat the same as I always do during the storm, so how did my usage go up?”
Utilities measure the impact of weather on energy usage by calculating the Heating Degree Days (HDD) and Cooling Degree Days (CDD).
Usage and Temperature Data from a Member's account
The metric uses the average temperature for each day and then measures how far it goes above or below the baseline of 65 degrees. The more the average temperature deviates from 65 degrees, the more energy that will be used to keep homes, businesses, and schools comfortable.
The HDD during the four-day winter storm totaled 173. For the month, the HDD was 674. Compare that to December 2023, when the HDD totaled 376.
In other words, the HDD increased by 79 percent from December 2023 to January 2024. So, if your thermostat remained the same when the temperature was 45 degrees as it did when it was 15 degrees, your usage will increase.
January was also a rainy month with more than three inches of rain or two-thirds of an inch above normal.