Extreme cold causes record usage

It’s been cold ... crazy cold, and electric usage reflects the bitter temperatures of our current winter.

You probably remember how cold it was between Christmas and New Year’s Day. The average temperature was 22.3 degrees in the New-Mac service area. Then came the frigid start to 2018, and according to data from the Neosho National Fish Hatchery, the first 17 days of the new year were the second coldest documented in records dating back to 1989. Only 2010 had a colder early January in the past 33 years.

The average temperature over that span of days was 24.5 degrees, including lows of -6 and -9 on Jan. 16 and 17 respectively. However, temperatures were reported across the co-op’s service area as low as -12, -14 and -15.

These extreme colds naturally put a strain on heating systems, and the resulting usage is reflected in the bills being received with this newsletter. This winter has seen the co-op set all-time highs for both daily usage and demand on multiple occasions. Demand reflects the amount of electricity being used by the entire system at a specific time. Three times the co-op’s demand was pushed to new peak standards in January. The last of these peaks, set during the bitter morning of the 17th, was 12 percent higher than the highest peak of past winters. Of the seven highest daily kilowatt-hour totals in New-Mac Electric’s history, five of those days occurred during the just completed billing period.

So, remember as you look at your bill this month, it wasn’t just cold, it was historically cold.

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