Due to the fact that the winter season has been one of the warmest on record – even with a late snowstorm hitting the northeast this week – consumers across the country have spent less on electricity so far in the fourth quarter, according to analysis from Deutsche Bank.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the financial institution's latest research indicates Americans spent $163 billion on electricity during the three-month period, which was down roughly $12 billion from figures recorded in the third quarter.
In addition, experts from Deutsche Bank say that while utility spending on electricity has fallen 10 percent so far from last year's fourth quarter figures, it could decline further before the start of the first fiscal quarter of 2012. Estimates suggest that Americans could save another $12 billion if the warm weather persists, which may help offset the rising gas prices that have been plaguing the country.
"No doubt, this will provide a substantial buffer to rising gasoline prices, which is why we do not want to become too pessimistic on first half consumer spending," Joseph LaVorgna, Deutsche Bank's chief U.S. economist, said, according to reports.
With this added savings, U.S. consumers who have experienced high energy bills during the summer months may want to invest in energy-saving devices. Since the winter has been unusually mild, there remains the possibility that this could translate into an especially hot summer.
As such, consumers who purchase a new portable air conditioner or electric fan may be able to augment their expected spending with these new investments. For example, electric fans can allow air conditioned air to circulate better, increasing the comfort of those in the home and yielding added savings.