Heating the home burns up a budget

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - As we've experienced many times around the Black Hills, including earlier this week, big temperature changes are common. Those big temperature swings have a major effect on how much energy your home uses.

In your home, the top use of energy during the winter months is for home heating. This is followed by water heating and then lighting ... including overhead lights and the electricity for TVs and computers.

On a very cold day we know our heating systems work harder to keep the home warm. Surprisingly, according to Jim Keck of Black Hills Energy, that may not result in the biggest increase in energy in all homes.

"You're going to be cooped up more, so you think of that, and so you're going to be using your computers more, your TVs, your lighting, and your space heating,” Keck explained. “So that's what you're looking at as far as different energy use."

Keck says that along with weather conditions, energy consumption is highly dependent on what day of the week the really cold weather falls on. There also are noticeable differences on weekdays versus weekends.