When winter weather rolls in, one of our first instincts is to stay home, turn up the heat, and huddle with our friends and family to stay warm. From the energy industry’s perspective, the winter season can bring in lots of extra money because of this behavior. However, the beautiful snow and ice can also wreak havoc on the energy grid, leading to problems that affect everyone.
Extreme cold increases demand on oil
Polar vortex, or even just prolonged chilly winter weather, can cause a peak of demand on oil and other services. This increase in demand comes from the simple fact that many families are staying home and heating their homes.
This is when the laws of supply and demand rear their ugly heads. A drastically increased demand on these resources increases their cost. However, if you are purchasing fixed-rate electricity, like you can with Star Energy Partners, then you won’t have to worry!
Slow oil production
Cold temperatures make extracting oil from the ground a burden. Refineries are also slowed down due to cold weather, and these two aspects together can cause the actual production of oil during winter months to slow down. This can become a particularly troublesome problem if an oil shortage occurs and there is high demand for more oil.
One side effect of inclement weather is the inevitable car accidents, which can lead to downed power lines and power outages. Power outages during the winter can exacerbate other problems, like rising energy prices and scarcity of propane and other fuels that are used for heating. It’s always important to drive safely, but that’s especially true in the winter!
Unseasonably warm temperatures
You would imagine that cold weather would be the only culprit, but unseasonably warm weather can also cause problems. Unusual seasonable temperatures that occur during an El Niño (just like this year) can hurt the energy industry by significantly reducing the amount of electricity many of us use during that. This makes sense, as warmer temperatures decrease the need to manually heat one’s home. In turn, this decreased usage can cut into energy companies’ revenue and potentially drive up prices for consumers.
Click here to learn how you can increase your home’s energy efficiency during the winter!