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How cold weather affects your energy usage

How cold weather affects your energy usage
Jason Monroe | Thursday, January 11, 2018

Weather affects your energy bill more than any other factor. The chart to the right shows how heating and cooling is responsible for nearly half of your energy use at home.

January 2018 saw bitter cold temperatures across the Midwest. According to Weather Underground, the average temperature on January 1, 2018, in Linden, IN was -10 degrees, compared to 30 degrees on January 1, 2017.

The abnormally cold weather increases the amount of energy you use. Whether your home is heated with electric or gas, your energy consumption is affected most by Mother Nature.

Why energy usage is higher in the winter

You’ll notice on the chart that cooling is only 6% of average home energy use, while heating is 42%. The reason is the temperature difference inside and outside your home is greater in winter than in summer. The greater the temperature difference, the harder your heating system has to work to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.

For example, if you want your house to be 70 degrees inside and its 20 degrees outside, your HVAC system has to make up 50 degrees difference in temperature. Even on a 100 degree summer day, the HVAC system only has to make up about 30 degrees difference versus that 50-degree variance in winter.

Luckily, there are several relatively easy ways to save energy without a substantial commitment of time and money. Energy.gov has a list of ways you can save energy in your home during the winter months.

  • Last modified: Tuesday, February 06, 2018

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Written by

Jason Monroe

Jason Monroe is Manager of Energy Services for Tipmont REMC. He started his career at Wabash Valley Power Association where he was an Electronics Field Engineer installing and maintaining SCADA systems for member cooperatives. Jason is now responsible for renewables, energy efficiency programs, key accounts, demand response and metering and was the project manager for Indiana’s first Community Solar program.

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