Americans' electricity bills are likely to be lower this summer as cool weather and rain forecast for the next several months reduces the need for air conditioning.
"We're looking at a pattern where the temperatures across the Northeast and Midwest, those really big population centers, are trending cooler and will continue to trend cooler as we move through the summer," said Paul Walsh, vice president of weather analytics at The Weather Channel. Along with cool weather comes rain, and in the northeast alone, that rain will impact about 35 percent of U.S. households, Walsh noted.
"That has a dramatic impact on all of us as consumers in terms of the things that we buy, but I think more importantly in terms of how we use energy, and I think that’s going to be a big story as we move through the summer," Walsh told "Big Data Download."
Households should expect to see their electricity bills to fall by more than 2 percent from June through August, to an average of about $395 for the three months combined, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. But as demand falls, energy prices will continue to rise, according to the EIA. The agency expects electricity prices to be up 2.2 percent this summer compared with a year ago.
Still, less of need for air conditioning will be a relief for some consumers, depending on where they live, after last year's summer highs made it the hottest summer in 118 years, according to The Weather Channel.
"We're continuing to see this tremendous volatility in weather both from a year-over-year basis and also regionally," Walsh said.
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