Record low summer cuts electricity costs


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Though the past week has been muggy and hot, this summer has actually been among the coolest for Iowa.

So far, the summer of 2014 ranks 28th on the list of coolest summers, according to records dating back 142 years, said State Climatologist Harry Hillaker.

The summer of last year is ranked 48th on the list of coolest summers.

“The main characteristic of this summer has not been the average of an Iowa summer,” Hillaker said. “There has been a lack of extreme heat. Very few days have gotten up to 90 degrees in all of Iowa. Sunday was the first 90 in the Cedar Rapids area.”

Though June, 2014 was the 55th warmest June, July was 4.6 degrees cooler than average, making it the fifth coolest July for more than 100 years.

Iowa City Public Works Director Rick Fosse said lower Muscatine Avenue, which needed to be reconstructed, was a two-year construction project that was behind at the end of last year.

Fosse said fewer rainy days, as well as cooler temperatures during the summer, aided in allowing the crew to catch up on the project.

“It is better for staff in the field to have lower temperatures,” he said.

The month of July was 36 percent cooler in Iowa than the 30-year average for July, according to MidAmerican Energy.

Ruth Comer, the MidAmerican media-relations manager, wrote in an email these cooler temperatures often lead to a decrease in energy consumption.

Compared with July 2013, the average Iowa residential electric customer used around 11 percent less electricity in July 2014.

For University of Iowa students, move-in week could not have come at a more inconvenient time.

Mid-August saw the return of summer temperatures marked by extreme humidity.

Hillaker said the state can expect the rest of August to be average, and summer heat should be considered the norm.

UI freshman Dantearja Haskins said the first week she lived on campus, she walked a lot, but now that it is getting hotter, she uses Cambus more.

“I thought it was hot in Mississippi, but doing all this walking, I’m ready to faint,” she said.

UI freshman Callie Ahlborn said the heat was not unbearable when she moved in but has been uncomfortably warm recently.

“Once I get in my room, it’s like, ‘Air conditioning,’” she said. “It’s the best feeling in the world.”

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