March is a "shoulder" month in most cities. Extreme weather conditions are rare and none were evident this year. However, a number of cities experienced a significant shortfall of economizer "free cooling" hours, resulting in higher-than-normal cooling costs for the month. The greatest deficiencies were reported in the Northeast, including Philadelphia, New York, Washington, Boston, and Baltimore.
In fact, waterside economizer hours in Philadelphia were down 43%, or 232 hours. That's almost 10 fewer days of free cooling than the city normally experiences in March. On the upside, facilities located in Detroit and Minneapolis benefited from considerably higher-than-normal economizer hours, resulting in lower March cooling costs.