The Price of Oil Comes Home

We are on the so-called budget plan for heating oil up in here in the Northeast. That means we spread the payments out over 12 months and have a capped price per gallon, but if the price of oil is lower, we pay that instead.

Part of the reason that this arrangment is attractive to us is that we are contractors, and our monthly cash flow is dicey enough as it is, fluctuating with our project work. Our heating oil tank is 500 gallons. With the cost of heating oil just recently reported at $5.30, a "fill up" would be a $2650.00 hit that could kill us in a month when our receivables are low.

So we do the budget plan and spread it out over 12 months.

Last year: $175.00 a month
This year: $480.00 a month
Increase: $305.00

For those calculating, that is an increase (for the same amount of oil) of 174.28% ... One Hundred and Seventy Four percent inflation in the cost of heating oil. In total, I will be paying two and a half times what I paid last year.

Put that in your CPI pipe and smoke it.

Oh, I forgot... including the cost of energy in the CPI is way way too volatile.

Volatile in the sense that, gawd forbid, the peasants might rebel.

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just wondered if you had seen the Citizen's Oil Co-op:

Citizen's Oil Co-op unites heating oil consumers throughout most of Connecticut to leverage their purchasing power for home heating oil.

Sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn't.

in the meantime, I am thinking guillotines.

I'm gonna ask a stupid question....are there more than one suppliers of heating oil that you can choose from? I don't know that adding plug in electric heaters would help or a wood burner maybe if you have access to wood and a big fan!
I do believe you all are between a rock and a hard place...

My father-in-law in Medina, OH is having the very same problem. He's in his late 70's and trying to decide if he should close the house up and live elsewhere over the Winter. If I recall correctly, the heat goes on in Sept. thru May...that's 9 months.

Here in TX my electric went up from 13.4 cents/kwh to 20.9 cents/kwh. I switched vendors and now pay 15.4 cents/kwh and locked in contract for 2 years..forfeiting costs me $200. We need to have the AC on. This may sound stupid but I only use my oven in the Winter months..and have stopped using my dryer.

Utility companies have us over a barrel. No wonder Hugo Chavez is helping out New Hampshire... Our domestic oil companies ought to be ashamed...but I doubt it!

we've been checking around... several companies supply oil, some better some worse. Ours has generally been fairly good, but the Action committee that rba linked to (thanks rba, better half just reminded me that Lamont's campaign manager used to work for them)... is worth investigating.

Before the new bill arrived (about an hour ago), our plan has been to shut off the upstairs (heavy drape the arched and doorless opening). Invest in a couple quartz heaters, and drop the thermostat way down.

Our house pre-dates 1900 -- when we opened it up to remodel the kitchen, the back part is all post and beam, so they are thinking 1880s maybe. No fireplaces and tho we have a woodlot, not sure we want to go that route.

We've turned off the furnace this summer (hotwater is off the furnace) and are looking at solar water heaters...like you we stopped using the dryer last year, shut off the attic fan then too.

But for now our future has to be in terms of conservation.

We knew it was going to be bad, just seeing it was a shock though.

I am afraid of propane gas...so we purchased an Ashley Wood stove. We heated the house just fine...had a big box fan that I would run at different speeds which circulated the heat throughout the house. To be sure...I wouldn't ever do that again! When we build retirement home in Ava.. plan A would be solar energy and Plan B probably geo-thermal heat pump. When you're young toting wood and cutting etc. is fine but can be tricky when you're creaky!

FYI I had just read about a solar powered hot water heater..very rasonably priced...got to have hot water to kill the germs! I can handle a low termostat reading if I can keep my hands warm... I always used the thinking that if I am cold..I am burning calories...

but we don't have a fireplace... I think there are some that are outside goodies, but too expensive.

I really want the old windpower deal in the backyard -- Ithink for the private consumer they go for about 13,000

problem is, we have steam radiators and oil heat... I am not too keen on retrofitting to electric.

Are the pipes and or walls insulated? Forgot what you'd written before . . .

we have a couple of rooms that have old insulation -- got to see it when we ripped up the kitchen downstairs. We have all replacement windows downstairs and lucky us, we can turn radiators off in individual rooms. We still have a couple of old wood shash (sp) ones upstairs... so replacing them is on the plan, even though we are planning to close the second floor off mostly..

rba, I know you know this stuff... it's a little ole cape, turned on its side (front door on the side -- not the standard 'front' of house). Full dormer.

What galls me is that I knew this was coming, we've been planning and cutting back, but WOW, Oil Shock!

I hope the work is still going alright up there, we've got new and old money and it Really has slowed down.

Stay away from, sure you might already know, plugin electric heaters, just transfering oil cost to electric bill and not getting that great of a heat distribution.

As mentioned a woodburning stove would help you especially in an open room, you don't need a fireplace except for an insert one and I never really thought they gave the total heat because of being inserts, though some did work pretty good.

Or you could move down south with the rest of us.

McCain Uses POW Status as Sword & Shield

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

I really did think... well, heck, we'll just shut the house up and go back home (AZ)... but can't really do that yet.

My goal in life is to be a snowbird.

We are on average warmer than you folks in New England. Chris and I are great cooks and very friendly.

carol