AccuWeather predicts above-average warmth to keep heating costs down for consumers across the northeastern United States as they prepare financially for the approaching holiday season.
Since September, mild weather has contributed to heating cost savings, and the trend of warmer-than-normal weather is expected to continue through the end of 2017.
“Heating costs for homeowners, from the start of the heating season, Sept. 1 to date, are running only about half of what they normally are in the Northeast,” said AccuWeather Founder and President Dr. Joel N. Myers.
“And, we are predicting above-normal temperatures to continue for the couple of months, so we anticipate that heating costs will only be three-quarters of what they normally are into November, but we recommend checking AccuWeather.com and our apps to see the specific details for your location," Myers said.
Though the higher temperatures have thus far allowed for savings on heating costs, it may change with the upcoming brief period of cooler weather, said AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.
The Midwest, eastern Plains and East Coast will experience a chillier pattern next week, Pastelok said.
“The period between Oct. 23rd and 30th will see that gap shrink in heating degree days compared to normal as more people will use more heat,” he said. “The biggest change may be in the Ohio Valley to Tennessee Valley.”
A heating degree day is used to estimate energy requirements for heating. It’s the number of degrees that a day’s temperature dips below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, which is considered the temperature at which buildings and homes require heating.
However, the temperature is expected to rise again in early November, helping to put more money back into the pockets of most people on the East Coast.
So far this fall, the United States is behind on heating degree days and above on cooling days, according to Pastelok.
“We are even ahead of last year’s mild fall, as well,” he added.
In contrast to heating degree days, cooling degree days are used to estimate energy requirements for air conditioning or cooling and measure how high the temperature is on a given day or a period of days.
It is the number of degrees that a day’s temperature rises above 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
The decline in heating costs this season is good news for the economy, but bad news for energy producers, according to Pastelok.
“The fuel savings may even last until December, but AccuWeather is predicting colder-than-normal weather for the Northeast in January and February,” Myers said. “Since the Northeast is off to such a warm start, the odds favor that heating costs for the entire heating season will be somewhat below normal."
AccuWeather’s Day By Day 90-Day Forecast is available to view on desktop and mobile sites for the most advanced notice and detailed information on local weather conditions throughout the fall and winter seasons.