Like last year, New Englanders got hit with an unseasonably early snow storm yesterday. Wisely, I hauled firewood from one of my many outdoor stacks into my living room before November turned to January that afternoon. My housemates have expressed discontent with my edict to keep the gas heat off until December 1. The coalition-of-the-chilling staged a mutiny the night before last. It's one I can live with: the heat kicks on when the temperature hits fifty. Why waste gas when you can burn wood? Last night, as the winds gusted and six inches or so of white stuff fell, the electricity went on strike. Absent television and other electronic amusements, the treetops danced before a pink sky. When I realized that gazing upon that was about as manly as meandering around on rollerskates, I read by firelight. During Hurricane Sandy, we fortunately avoided the power-outage fate many of our neighbors and relations suffered. Thank goodness for wifi and eight-hour laptop batteries.
I was hoping we'd get some fuel relief this season with the election of another President.
But now that it's come to pass that the anti-energy President has retained power, I'm getting prepared to feed my main heating source with $5-$6 a gallon heating oil.
That will mean spending less money to help build the economy and moving toward living a European style "small" existence. But, I digress.
A month ago, I read that the typical customer heating with gas will pay out around $1,100 this season and for oil $2,500. I still think the gas folks will be ok but I see another $500-$1,000 on my bill as this administration will continue to block and demonize black gold.
If you haven't done so already, try getting a pressure/infrared test conducted on your place. I got one done for $99 (check Angieslist if you subscribe). It should identify where you're losing heat. You can either do it yourself or hire someone to add weatherstripping to your doors and insulation to your attic. Depending on where you live, the insulation R value will differ. The money you spend on the improvements may pay dividends in energy savings in the future. Additionally, if you think you'll be staying put for a while, ditch the oil and convert to electric. Stay warm. -CH