The first frost has finally hit central Virginia, albeit a little later than what you were expecting. Here's the scoop on frost dates for Virginia, where your home may be losing the most heat, and more on a free program Dominion customers can use to help lower energy costs and keep their homes warm this winter.
The First Frost Date Shift
Over the past century, the average date of the first frost in Virginia has been moving progressively backward, today landing a week or more later than it did at the turn of the 20th century. In fact, data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shows that between 1895 and 2018, the average date of the first fall frost moved back by 7.1 days in Virginia.
On the local level, you may be seeing even starker changes. Climate Central, a nonprofit staffed by scientists and journalists, calculates that on average, the first frost today is 5.9 days later in Lynchburg, 8.9 days later in Harrisonburg, 12.8 days later in Roanoke, 15 days later in Charlottesville, and 18.5 days later in Richmond. Coastal Cities, like Norfolk, are moving in the opposite direction, with the first frost moving back by about five days.
This data has proven accurate for 2021 as the first date temperatures dropped below 32° F in the Greater Richmond area was November 14th - 19 days later than the median expected date of October 26th.
Where Your Home Is Losing Heat
Dominion Customers Have A Free Resource To Help
If you are a Dominion customer, there's a free program you can sign up for that can help with your home heating and energy bills. The company offers its customers a Home Energy Audit where a licensed contractor will do a complete inspection of your home's insulation, ductwork, hot water heaters, lighting, and much more.
Here's how it works:
You sign up at no cost to you, and a licensed contractor shows up at your door.
First, the contractor changes all your lightbulbs. Trying to replace incandescent bulbs with new LEDs, which are brighter, last longer, and use less energy. Contractors may also install aerators, do a water temperature check, and wrap your pipes or install insulation if needed.
According to a report by WWBT in Richmond, "The rebate is paid directly to the company doing the work, so there's no money out of pocket for you. The home assessment usually takes an hour or so."
Here is a link to find a contractor to start your home energy assessment so you can stay warm and toasty this winter.
Sources: Plant Maps, Climate Central, Virginia Mercury, Time & Date.com, Dominion Energy