a Degree, There a Degree...
and Cooling Variances Affect Your Energy Bills
In the number-numb, glassy-eyed world of energy statistics, sits a helpful tool to help you answer the question: Is it really colder than last year? Is this normal weather we’re having? This helpful database series is called degree days.
Nebraska Heating and Cooling Degree Days Locator Map
But what are degree days?
are used to estimate fuel consumption and to pinpoint the nominal annual
heating and cooling loads of a building. A degree day is a 1 degree Fahrenheit
difference between 65 degrees Fahrenheit and the average outdoor air temperature
on a given day. The more extreme the temperature, the higher the number
of degree days. Degree day measurements can be used to describe the effect
of outdoor temperature on the amount of energy needed for space heating
or cooling. Hot days, which could require the use of energy for cooling,
are measured in cooling degree days. On a day with an average temperature
of 90 degrees Fahrenheit, 25 cooling degree days would be recorded. Cold
days are measured in heating degree days.
For a day with an average temperature
of 45 degrees Fahrenheit, 20 heating degree days would be recorded. Two
such cold days would result in a total of 40 heating degree days for the
Today Cool Tomorrow |
© 2004, U.S. Energy Information Administration
This map links to the U.S. Energy Information Administration Residential
Energy Map for the Midwestern region. You may find a wealth of information
on heating and cooling degree days for Nebraska and surrounding
states. Data includes actual weather normals. You may use this map
to look for heating and cooling trends and compare them to surrounding
states. Find how much energy you are using compared to your neighbor's
energy use. Energy consumption and variations in heating and cooling
days help give you a better idea of how weather affects your energy
use and affects the prices you pay for energy.
Click on the map to visit the Energy Information Administration web site and find your heating and cooing degree days normals and annual weather normals. This map also includes information on state population, households per square mile, amount of energy used per household and what type of energy or fuel they used most.
For Nebraska specific information on heating and cooling degree
days and all their permutations, use these links below:
Degree Day Normals |
Heating Degree Days |
Cooling Degree Days |
Selected Cities in Nebraska |
By studying degree day patterns in an area, the increases or decreases in
heating or air conditioning bills can be evaluated from year to year. The
Energy Office maintains degree days and degree day normals 30 year
averages for twelve cities around the state in addition to the state's degree days.
By studying the locator
map, (above) find the city to which you are closest and use that city's
degree days. Degree day information may also be published in a local newspaper,
usually in the weather section. Information could be available from a
local utility. Its public relations department may be able to provide
the number of degree days in the last billing period and how it compares
to the number of degree days in previous billing periods.
A Little Heat, A Little Cold
heating degree day normal for a year is 6525 and cooling degree day normal
for a year is 1008. In a year with normal weather, Nebraskans will heat
their homes and businesses 6525 degree days and cool their homes and businesses
1008 degree days. In comparison, Hawaii (a hot weather state) has 20 heating
degree days and 3002 cooling degree days, and Colorado (a cold weather
state) has 7410 heating degree days and 273 cooling degree days.
In the 2002/2003 season, Nebraska's heating degree days totaled 6419 or
105 degree days less than the degree day normal. This indicates Nebraska's
winter was 2 percent warmer than normal. In 2002, Nebraska's cooling degree
days totaled 1231 or 223 degree days more than the degree day normal.
This indicates Nebraska's summer was 22 percent warmer than normal.
Hot Spot, Cold Spot
According to degree day data gathered over a thirty year period, the city
with the most cooling degree days, among the 12 towns surveyed, is Pawnee
City. The leader in heating degree days is Valentine.