Read Time: 3 Minutes
At EnergyBot, we understand that the energy industry is complex. But we also understand that even understanding the basics can help consumers make smarter and more informed energy purchasing decisions. So, we sat down with our Head of Operations and “all things energy” guru Dan Schilens to discuss how and why extreme weather impacts your electricity bill.
A Polar Vortex is experienced in the United States when the low pressure of the North Pole pushes extreme cold air south into North America. Just as in any other sever weather-related event, consumers tend to use more power than anticipated during periods of “extreme heat or extreme cold”.
Just as an air conditioner runs harder and more frequently during hot weather, furnaces run more frequently during cold weather. Even if you have gas heat or another heating fuel, your furnace blower runs on electricity, resulting in more use of power.
This increase in usage will lead to higher-than-normal bills, even if your rate does not change. For consumers with a variable rate, increase in usage during extreme weather events causes an increase in demand, resulting in rate increases. This means consumers with a variable rate plan can experience both an increase in their rate AND their usage, which both can drive higher overall costs.
The best advice for consumers during any extreme weather event is to realize this will have an impact on your overall total costs, so it’s best to conserve power where you can. Raise the thermostat a few degrees above your normal setting; turn off or unplug any unnecessary equipment.
Stay tuned for part II where Dan discusses coal vs. natural gas, and how technology advancements can impact your electricity bill.
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