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Warmer winter reduces demand for heating fuels

Published: 9:36 AM, 03/19/2013

Author: David Popiel
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

After a rather mild February, March turned colder with snow and ice the first half as weather forecasters had predicted and this has helped local gas and electric utilities.

However, by springtime, temperatures reached above 70 degees before a mild cold front moved in this week to test freezing temperatures again.

January is normally the best month for utilities but this was not true in 2013, said Tommy Bible, general manager of Jefferson-Cocke County Utility District.

January weather usually pushes heating degree-days to 899, which is normal. This year January had 723 degree days, only slightly colder than the 706 in Jan. 2012.

Gas flow and prices have thus remained low. The peak January day was 12,959 decatherms compared to the recent records of more than 15,000 decatherms, said Bible. The utility ends its fiscal year on March 31.

For more details, please see the Tuesday edition of the Newport Plain Talk.

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