It’s the revenge of the polar vortex.
The U.S. government estimates that electricity will cost 3 percent more this year, thanks in part to the unusually harsh winter. That’s a larger increase than most years, though still less than the increase in prices of other consumer goods.
While it’s often easy to recognize why prices of food and other products are rising, it can sometimes be difficult to understand why electricity prices go up. For instance, about now you’re probably asking yourself how weather we experienced back in December and January could cause a rise in electricity prices in July.
Here’s how that works:
Over 77 percent of Michigan homes are heated using natural gas, so most of us understand that the price of natural gas will go up when winter temperatures are unusually cold. However, natural gas is also a significant source of fuel for electric plants. That means over consumption of natural gas in the winter can have an impact on electricity prices throughout the year.
Conserve Electricity in Your Home
One positive outcome of this news is that Michiganders may be encouraged to use power more wisely this summer, which is always a good thing. Energy efficiency is a key to environmental sustainability and strengthening Michigan’s energy future.
If you haven’t already, it’s a great time to begin taking a closer look at how to better manage your own home energy usage. Check out our blog post from the spring discussing tips like home energy audits and weatherization, as well as this one about landscaping to save energy.
Of course, the simplest tips are often the best: turn down your air conditioning and remember to turn off the lights when you leave a room. Do you have other tips for minimizing energy use in our homes and businesses here in Michigan? Share your ideas with us here.