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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published April 05 2013

Weather Talk: Heating degree days show 25% hike in energy use

“Heating degree day” is a term used to calculate how much heat is required to heat a home or a business based on the weather. It is assumed that when the average temperature for a 24-hour day is lower than 65 degrees, some energy is required to keep people comfortable.

If the average temperature is 55 degrees, 10 heating degree days are assigned to that day. If the average temperature is 5 degrees, 60 heating degree days are assigned.

The peculiar units used (degree days) allow someone to estimate the amount of energy needed by estimating the weather forecast and multiplying the heating degree days by the number of days.

September through March of last winter, Fargo-Moorhead had 6,150 heating degree days. That same period this winter resulted in 8,043 heating degree days.

This shows that we all used roughly 25 percent more energy to keep warm this winter than last winter.


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