How Did the 2018 Winter Impact Your Heating Bill?

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winter 2018 impact on heating energy bills

OK…deep breath…we’re DONE with winter!

How was it for you? Long, right? But how did it compare with winters past?

If you enjoy finding statistics that prove (or disprove) your opinions, then this blog is for you. Compared to the last five winters—December 1st through April 1st—the one we’ve just been through was somewhat cold but, no, it wasn’t the coldest.

Here’s how it looked. From December 1st 2017 to March 31st 2018:

The average daily maximum temperature was 37°F.

The highest daily maximum temperature was 74°F (recorded on February 21st, a new record for the day!) and the lowest daily maximum temperature was 6°F (recorded on December 29th 2017, brrrr!).

Then we have the lows:

The average daily minimum temperature was 22°F.

The lowest daily minimum temperature was -5°F (recorded on January 7th 2018, just 1°F warmer than the record for that day) and the highest daily minimum temperature was a balmy 41° (recorded on March 30th 2018).

Finally, there are the total number of heating degree days: 4312. If you don’t remember what heating degree days are all about click here.

Those, then, are the extremes and the averages, but to make our comparisons, it’s really only fair to consider the averages and the heating degree days, thus:



Average daily MAXIMUM temperature, December 1st to March 30th:

2017-18

2016-17

2015-16

2014-15

2013-14

37°F

38°F

43°F

33°F

34°F



Average daily MINIMUM temperature, December 1st to March 30th:

2017-18

2016-17

2015-16

2014-15

2013-14

22°F

23°F

27°F

17°F

18°F



Total number of heating degree days, December 1st to March 30th:

2017-18

2016-17

2015-16

2014-15

2013-14

4312

4127

3675

4836

4705



Conclusion: The coldest winter of the last five was 2014–15, the warmest was 2015–16, and the most recent ranked 3rd out of the five—cold but not super cold.

So why do we look back and think this winter was one of the worst? Well, partly because we did have that long sustained cold period around the turn of the new year—there were more heating degree days in the first two weeks of January 2018 than in the first two weeks of any of the four previous years; partly because it was cooler in April—there were more heating degree days in April 2018 than in any of the four previous Aprils, so it felt like it had been cold FOREVER; partly because it was colder than both the previous two winters; and partly because we have selective memories and we tend to focus on the most extreme elements AND the most recent.

But, however you interpret it, the good news is that it’s OVER and it should be a good six months before we have to start worrying about the next one!

The statistics in this blog relate to weather recorded at Pease International Tradeport, Portsmouth. To find specific numbers for your town, visit www.wunderground.com, key in your town, click on history, and start digging.

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