What is happening?
During cold periods, New Brunswickers use energy to heat their homes. New Brunswick’s cold periods are milder now than at any other time in the last hundred years. Milder winters mean that New Brunswickers don’t have to heat their homes as much as they previously did. Heating Degree Days (HDD, which indicate how mild or cold a winter is) were calculated for five New Brunswick communities: Charlo, Fredericton, Miramichi, Moncton, and Saint John. Across New Brunswick, milder winters have led to a drop of about 200 HDD over the last hundred years.
Why is it important?
New Brunswick winters are cold and much of the energy that we need during our winter seasons is used to warm buildings. Home heating demands during winter are substantial for New Brunswickers, so milder winters lead to lower heating costs.
What is predicted to happen?
Temperatures in New Brunswick are expected to continue to increase, and winter temperatures are expected to become milder. As a result, it is forecast that New Brunswickers will need to heat their homes less during the winter. New Brunswickers can realize additional savings by making their homes more energy efficient.