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The science behind a rise in January’s electricity bill

You might have noticed a steep increase in your latest utility bill from the month of January for the City of Columbia. This was due to the extreme cold we experienced throughout the last month.

Cooling and heating degree days is a metric created for power companies to understand how much output will be needed depending on the temperature. Heating degree days is the actual mean temperature subtracted from 65. The higher the number, the more energy is need to heat a home or business.

The average temperature falling 15 degrees from December to January drove an increase in the number of heating degree days. This meant more power was needed to heat homes and businesses driving the cost of utilities across Mid-Missouri significantly higher.

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Chance Gotsch

Chance Gotsch grew up just south of St. Louis and moved to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri to pursue a degree in Atmospheric Sciences.

His interest in weather begin as a child when he used to be afraid of storms.

Chance joined the ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather Team in February 2021. He is currently the weekday noon meteorologist.


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