GREEN BAY - As with any summer, Northeast Wisconsin will see its share of hot, humid days.
But compared to last summer, this past one hasn't been nearly as hot.
And that ended up saving many customers some money on their utility bills.
"It turns out that customers this year in June and July probably spent about 20, 25 dollars less on electricity than they did last year," according to Kerry Spees, spokesperson for Wisconsin Public Service. "August? I think it's going to be close to a wash."
One measure that can be helpful in comparing summer energy costs is cooling degree days.
If a day's average temperature is above 65 degrees, every degree above that mark is considered a cooling degree day.
So it is possible to have more than one cooling degree day in one individual day.
Generally, the more of these you see, the more electricity is used.
But because electricity used by air conditioners only makes up a portion of your bill, you can't make direct comparisons between the change in cooling degree days and the change in your electricity consumption from summer to summer.
So even though the June-July-August period this year had 35 percent less cooling degree days than the same period in 2012, your total electricity usage won't drop by quite as much.
But what cooling degree days can do is help you identify if you have developed any bad habits when it comes to electricity use.
"We tend to, at the end of longer periods of hot weather, to say 'I've had enough of this' and turn the air conditioning down. Well, that's going to hurt us a little bit if we do that,” said Spees.
So while that 35 percent figure won't be what your electricity consumption decreases by, if you ended up using only, say, 5 percent less energy, you can be pretty sure you were being less efficient than last year.
But with rates staying the same from last year to this year, most consumers likely didn't have to pay as much in electricity bills than they did in 2012.
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