Winter Home Energy Consumption Down

Consolidated Natural Gas Co.'s CNG Energy Index calculated residential heating and cooling energy needs averaged 7.7% below normal for the country over the winter heating season (Nov. 1-March 31). There were wide variations across the country, however, with above normal energy needs in the Southwest and Lower Mississippi Valley.

"What we saw was really three distinct seasons last winter," said Joseph H. Petrowski, president of CNG Energy Services. "Cool temperatures in November and December pushed energy needs a little above normal-about 4%. Then, extremely mild weather in January and February caused energy needs to plummet to about 25% below normal. In March, an early cold snap followed by record warm temperatures across much of the country pushed energy needs up about 18% above normal."

The CNG Energy Index, developed by CNG Energy Services, takes into account outdoor temperatures, cloud cover, humidity and other factors in estimating heating and cooling energy requirements for a typical single-family home.

The most recent data from the Energy Information Administration shows gas consumption basically flat with consumption levels last winter. EIA estimated in its March Natural Gas Monthly that total gas consumption for the winter was 11,028 Bcf, down about 3 Bcf (0.02%) from last winter. Estimating for January-March, EIA reported residential gas demand was down 1.9% (66 Bcf) for the winter commercial consumption was down 0.1% (2 Bcf) and industrial gas demand was up 0.3% (13 Bcf). Data for the electric utility sector was not separated out.

©Copyright 1998 Intelligence Press, Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news report may not be republished or redistributed in whole or in part without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.