Winter is notorious for high energy usage. December, January, and February unleash America’s highest energy consumption of any consecutive 3-month period.
In addition to triggering a spike in the use of instant hot cocoa — winter weather also prompts a gigantic spike in the use of heating energy – primarily via natural gas and electricity (and to a lesser extent, heating oil and propane).
Likewise, Opower’s own energy data storehouse – the world’s largest, spanning more than 50 million households – suggests that this year’s winter energy consumption is off to a running start. During the last several weeks, as temperatures plummeted, electric power demand in the East hit record highs. Even the Chicago Zoo’s polar bear moved into a heated chamber. And nationwide in mid-January, the weekly volume of natural gas withdrawn from underground storage facilities – 287 billion cubic feet, piped to heat buildings as well as feed power plants – was the largest ever recorded in the US.