It's been a cold December across the U.S., including here in Houston. For many consumers, the effects will show up in their natural gas bills. CenterPoint Energy is already warning
local gas customers to be prepared for a high December bill.
But for those Houstonians who heat their homes with electricity, the same warning needs to be given about your electric bill.
In the electric business, we use load profiles to describe customers. While we don't know what furnace you have, we have a pretty good idea based on your usage, and that's how load profiles
The following chart shows the daily total electric usage for residential customers that have shared their usage data with TrueCost. The blue line
is "low winter ratio" profiles (probably not using electric heat) and green
is "high winter ratio" profiles (probably using electric heat).
When the two lines move in parallel, that is most likely air conditioner use. When the green line shoots up and the blue line doesn't, that's electric heating. And it's all weather-driven.
This is a chart from NOAA
. Green is the "normal" and the records are also shown. On dates where we dip into the blue, you'll see more electric heat load. And when we're in the pink area, you'll see all customers' usage increase.
Here's the November 2013 chart. You can see the temperatures drop during Thanksgiving week. That's where the usage spikes for electric heat load on the TrueCost chart, too.