Hot weather this week likely means greater energy use as Minnesotans crank up their air conditioners.
The bad news is that people who run their AC continuously for several consecutive days will likely notice a spike in their electric bill compared to last year.
The good news is that electricity costs are fairly low right now in Minnesota, compared to other states, according to Rebecca Olson, residential energy program manager at the Neighborhood Energy Connection, a nonprofit in St. Paul.
"In California, I think they see electricity costs as high as 50 cents a kilowatt, whereas here we're at 7-10 cents," Olson said.
She said that unseasonably warm weather this past winter, combined with low natural gas prices, likely meant Minnesotans saved a bundle to heat their homes during the colder months.
But she said it is difficult to tell if the constant hum of air conditioners this week will offset those savings. It's typically more expensive to heat a home than to cool it.