When Will Montanans Turn Their Heaters On
I recently did something for the first time that I wish I had put off until later in the year: turning the thermostat clockwise. I can hear my dad grumbling even though I've been paying my own energy bills for decades now:
Outdoors, autumn in Montana is breathtaking, arguably more so than in any other season. For proof, you can Google "fall in montana" and get the same results we did:
However fall doesn't last long in the Treasure State. Summer abruptly ends in September and temperatures drop like they just saw a highway patrol car, giving us a respite from having to run our air conditioners like madmen. While the window may be open now, it won't be long before we shut our windows and trade in our air conditioned energy bills for central heat energy bills. Yeah, indoors it's a different story.
Meteorologists as well as the Farmers Alamanac have predicted a chillier-than-usual end of October, leading up to winter in full force by the solstice on December 21st. But while the urge to stay comfortable is high, so will our energy bills in the coldest months.
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A snapshot of my energy bill from my Missoula apartment. Medium-high yikes.
1400 kilowatt hours is a lot, and that amount of energy is expensive. Energy rates this winter are going up for Northwestern Energy customers in Montana (source) and we need to be prepared for how much we're going to be spending just to keep the lights and heat on. Missoula Electric Cooperative customers will not see an increase this year.
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So we're going to ask you:
There are no wrong answers. Some people have bigger homes and need to run the heat more often, some people have space heaters for smaller apartments, and others run the heat full blast in their car. Stay warm, friends.