How El Nino affects energy consumption: a study at national and regional levels



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El Ni?o is typically viewed as an episode of destructive weather anomalies that can last from a few months to several years. The majority of research looks at the negative impacts of this event. However, not all impacts of El Ni?o are necessarily bad. This study outlines areas of the United States that are most highly impacted by anomalous temperature and rainfall during El Ni?o years and determines whether these anomalies affect energy consumption. These effects will be examined on both a national and regional scale. Areas of the northwestern and southeastern United States exhibit anomalous temperatures during El Ni?o years. The southern US and Great Plains area receives positive anomalous precipitation during El Ni?o years while an area of the east central US experiences negative anomalous precipitation. Natural gas consumption in the northwestern US is reduced by the El Ni?o/Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During an ENSO event consumers actually save money because less is spent on natural gas for home heating purposes. Hydroelectricity may also be affected by ENSO in the southeastern US but the results at this time are inconclusive. At the national level, ENSO influences the consumption of nuclear electricity.