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Cold January Brings Higher Energy Usage

The new year brought extreme cold to our service area during the first week of January. Members endured lows in the teens and highs not surpassing the 40s the entire week. Although there were warm days, the extreme cold continued to make appearances throughout the month, resulting in extra kWh usage to heat homes and keep them warm. 

The graph below shows how the average January usage compares with the energy usage during January of this year. 

“The temperatures are dramatically different than last January when we were experiencing highs in the 60s,” said Greg Mullis, vp of corporate services. “During the first three weeks of January this year, the daily high and low temperatures were 10 degrees below average for at least a dozen of the first 18 days. Heating systems were running much longer than normal,” said Mullis.

Although you cannot change the outside temperature to keep your heat from running, there are simple things you can do to combat your energy usage. Tri-County EMC recommends setting your thermostat to 68 degrees in winter when the home is occupied. If you have a programmable thermostat, consider lowering your temperature 6-8 degrees while you are away. 

During cold days, do your best to avoid heating your home with space heaters. Using space heaters to temper the air in a bathroom for a short period of time may be a good option, but using them to heat the entire house will cost you more than using a heat pump. The amount of energy you would use to run two space heaters could power a central heat pump large enough to heat an 1,800 sq. ft. home. By using our Space Heater Calculator on our website, you can calculate the impact space heaters are making on your energy usage. 

If you build a fire in your fireplace, be sure to close the damper after it is extinguished. Leaving the damper open creates a path for warm air to escape from your home. 

You can access similar graphs of your energy usage by using the myTCEMC mobile app. Through this app, you can see your daily energy usage and set up text alerts to let you know when you have exceeded a set energy use for the day. (55541002) 

To find out more ways to save energy, or perform an online energy audit, visit www.tri-countyemc.com/energy-saving-tips.cms