WINTER 2005-06 energy costs expect 70% increase

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Sanny

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I know in the midwest here they expect energy costs to rise an average of 70% over last year.
I think now is a good time to share energy saving tips, good websites, suggestions, etc. for both our houses and barns with each other.

Last year our I thought our bills were way too high and I DON'T want them to rise this year (especially not 70%). What a waste of money that could be spent on horse stuff!


We are talking about replacing a couple of windows that have always been drafty and ill-fitting and we have lots of huge windows that we have never had drapes on before because we like the light and the views and have enough privacy not to need them. I am starting to think about good window coverings for those windows that will help keep the house warmer. We've also had a tendency to keep our thermostat a little too high - you know it is too high when most of the family is running around in shorts and t-shirts inside the house in the middle of winter. I've also heard that lowering the thermostat on the hot water heater can make a noticeable difference and since we have two water heaters, that would be double the savings.

I'd heard on the radio that a good website exists with lots of tips and information for this sort of thing but I was driving and didn't write it down and thought I would remember it and I don't. Does anyone else know of one?
 

Ashley

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Dont know, this is my first year actually haveing to pay for heat. IM sure I wont like it as im a freeze baby and I have animals that need a certian temp. I guess it wont be 80 in my house this year.

But must say, im glad you werent writting and driving...........that could be scary
 

Pepipony

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You can use that shrinking plastic wrap on windows to help seal them up. Replace the weatherstipping around doors. Close off vents in rooms you dont use. Replace lightbulbs with those new, evergy efficient ones (each bulb saves a 1/2 ton of coal) turn the heat down, bundle up and use the fireplace more if you have one. For me the heat stays at 55 or so, I LOVE being bundled up, guess its a Yankee thing LOL Drives hubby nuts, he wants it 75 MEN!!! TG he isnt home much and I git my way LOL
 
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Lisa-Ruff N Tuff Minis

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Well there is some advantage I guess to only having one baseboard heater in the house.. (we have a wood stove but asthma keeps us from using it anymore)

so our bills arent to high even though the baseboard heater is expensive having one keeps it down.. we wear double sweats, get sweaters for the dogs and having 5 dogs and 2 cats share a bed with you helps alot to
 

shminifancier

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Yes I got a jump on my rent increase
I stopped in at my landlords house yesterday took it upon myself and wrote a check out 50 dollars more and Wow how He thanked me for being Pro activce..He was only going to raise my rent by 25 dollars and try that...And if gas goes down He said He would adjust downward if that happen...So even at now 400 per month and He Pays the Heat I still am getting a heck of a deal...When I started renting this place 10 years ago I paid $325 So that is not much of a rent increase in 10 Years


And I have my horses here with me using just enough land nothing has been specified but I am not greedy..I build sheds for them and do if needed the small up keep on this trailer... So he is really fair with me So I am fair with him... He said that when I first started renting the LP Gas was .65 Cents a gallon and now He locked it in for this year at $1.68 per gallon....This place is on His working dairy Farm so He does get Farm rate discount for farm property..

And now that I am on SS Disability and not working I will be home way more then I had been so I will be using lots ,ore then I did when working...I do not sit in a cold room with long sleeve shirts on wrapped in a blanket I will NOT do that..And I have it set at around 75 degrees and in short sleeve shirts and stocking feet enjoying looking outside at the snow fall
 

backwoodsnanny

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Being from a very cold state this worries all of us here Heating oil now is 2.79 a gallon so cant imagine what it will be with a 70% increase. And luckily we have our own wood because if you have to buy it it too is outrageous 207.00 a cord. there will be gouging there always is but anyway ways to save. Keep your thermostat at a constant temp. Turning it way down when you arent there during the day does not save money as it takes more to start the furnace and bring it back to temp than it does to keep it at a lower temp all the time and put some clothes on.

If you cook and bake when you are finished open the oven door and let what heat is there dissipate into your room it helps for a short time. Try to keep your head hands and feet warm as you lose much of your body heat through your extremeties.

If possible have an entry way outside your doors as it blocks the cold from coming into the house. My hubby just had surgery and the nurses at the hospital were talking about the fact that many of the elderly that are still in their own homes and on fixed income will have a hard time keeping their houses warm this year and they expect there will be some that dont make it through the winter they will freeze to death in their homes.

Oh one more thing if you have a quick recovery water heater try shutting it off and turning it on when you are going to need it and do dishes and showers etc during the same fewhours then shut off the water heater. It will stay warm enough for washing hands etc for a long time. This will save quite alot on the electric bill.

We have several doors to our house but in the winter we only keep two servicable as it saves on heat and we dont have to shovel or plow to several entries.
 

Miniv

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**Close off any room or rooms you don't use regularly.

**Skip having a shower every day.

**Do only cold water clothes washing and make sure the machine is full.

**Do only full loads with a dishwasher (if you own one.).

**If you have a woodstove or fireplace, try to use it as a main source of heat.

**If you are dependant on either electric or oil heat, lower the thermastat.

**Nag the child and spouse to turn off lights that are not being used!

Those are the main things Larry and I have been trying to do.....Fortunately we have a wood stove as our main heat source, with electric backup. We try to just keep the electric turned OFF.

Would love to hear more ideas. (The above are fairly basic and boring, I'm afraid.)

MA
 

Buckskin gal

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70% increases seem awful and means we go without something else
We do plan to shut off half the house if it gets real cold, keep thermostat at 60 degrees and wear sweaters or more sweat shirts and pants. We have a very well insulted house and usually are conservative but if we have a cold winter I know we won't be thrilled to see those heat bills.
I like it on the cooler side so that helps.
 

Margo_C-T

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I live in an all-electric house. About 19 years ago, the rates went up to the point we could see HUGE bills coming, so we installed an Orley fireplace insert, and heated ENTIRELY with wood for 18 years, until last year. I have been a widow for 8 years, and am not getting any younger;so last year, I responded to info from our electric co-op about a heat storing electric heating system they were offering--among the forms it came in was a retrofit that could be used with the hot water baseboard system already in place(though unused for all those years!) They would rebate the homeowner for up to $3000 of the cost to retrofit, and you could then pay off the system itself with monthly, no-interest payments to the co-op. It was an unbeateble deal, so I signed on. I also got a needed new water heater(partial rebate from co-op), and bought a timer for the water heater(reduced cost from the co-op), and had it installed. The heating system uses off-peak electric rates, and stores heat in ceramic bricks inside the unit, then releases it. You have to sign on for the on-peak, off-peak electric rates for a couple of years; the on-peak rates are about 1/5 higher than the "straight" rates, the off-peak rates are about 2/3 LESS that them.(Of course, the rates were raised already, early this year....
-but, it is still worthwhile to me!) It is a very comfy heat-since off-peak hours go from 9 PM until 10:30 AM, and then from 1:30 to 4:30 PM, I can have the electric heat in the cold of the early AM, then, if it's really COLD, I can still build a fire for the evening, during the high cost hours! The cost of wood has increased dramatically-from $140/cord delivered to $190, so that makes the overall cost of heating more of a "wash". I also have two solar panels on the roof(since 1984 or so!)-they help a lot during the day,if the sun's out, and cost only what it takes to run a couple of small blower motors.

Good insulation and double pane(or more)windows are REALLY helpful-thankfully, this house already had them when we moved in! We virtually NEVER use the doors that go directly to the outside in the winter; use the door through the garage, instead-so cold air doesn't come directly into the house. My house has three heating 'zones'; I keep the thermostat for the back(bedrooms and bath)set lower all the time; in the living area, I turn it down only a few degrees at night-I don't like to be COLD, but do try to keep it around 68 or below(I wear sweatshirts all the time in winter, anyhow!) I need some new window coverings-the old ones are just wearing out-but are all drapes, with insulating lining-am thinking of either shutters, which I LOVE, or at least, heavily insulated fabric of some sort, for the replacements-when I can come up with the money....Opening the drapes of south-facing windows during the day, if the sunlight can come in, actually can make quite a difference. I do have 6 heated water buckets,and one 1000 watt water tank heater, for the horses; they are all on timers, which I set to match the off-peak electric rate hours-helps a lot, too! Each 5 gal.bucket is only 130-135 watts;the smaller buckets would probably pull even less wattage.

The local paper said last week that the co-op would raise rates in Feb.--am hoping that's 'just' the 'straight' rates and not the on-off peak ones. However--I will do whatever I must(or I should say, do WITHOUT whatever I must)to stay warm over winter.....surely makes it less of something to look forward to, though.

It is certainly time for there to be serious and ongoing research into and development of alternative energy sources, that's for sure!!
 

justaboutgeese

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I find one thing entirely frustrating, we are told to conserve so we cut back, we are told to leave natural resources for future generations, so we cut back, we are told that the generating system is operating beyond capacity to prevent blackouts, we cut back, At every cutback the utilities realize if we cut back they loose revenue. Since they will not operate on reduced budgets (unlike us) they raise the rates. We always ended up paying more and getting less. Now there is a minor glitch in the refining system that will be temporary (Is it up to them how long they take to get up and going again - just why would the petroleum industry be motivated to speed up repairs) and we are again faced with the prospects of paying more to receive less. We have been burning wood for a number of years so the half a tank of fuel still there will last a few more years. I am concerned about some of my neighbors, friends, and relatives who might not be able to cut and burn wood. For some of them cutting back further is not an option. They have cut to the point that with thermostats set at 64 F they cannot exist in their homes due to age or infirmity. Gasoline for people working for little more than minimum wage means some people are being forced to choose between working and staying home. One fast food owner (a friend and close neighbor) has hired a local taxi to pickup his out of town employees to work at his franchises. I am sure not all employers will not offer free transport (short term) to and from work. I realize that as a group we are probably mostly living well above the poverty line. It the ones without resources that bother me.
 

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