… and the other thing that shocked me from that story about heating assistance money was these statistics:
1) “The average cost of heating a home with natural gas in the South is $740 a year” !
2) “…while it can cost $2,500 to $3,500 with heating oil in Maine.” !!
3) The Maine households which receive heating-assistance money have an “average benefit of about $811” !!!
These numbers astonish me. Firstly, I’ll admit I don’t know what the definition of “South” is here, but I have a suspicion they mean places south of, say, Pennsylvania. Places where I would consider “just a touch of heat” to be needed, if anything. But $740 a year of natural gas! That’s a lot of BTU’s. Jeepers.
Secondly: $2,500 to $3,500 for heat up here in Maine? Good LORD– for an AVERAGE home? Is that true? Is that were we started, in this experiment? I honestly don’t remember, but I’m horrified. It just seems impossible now.
Lastly: I confess that I’m shocked to read that the least affluent among us are receiving, and spending, on average, at least $811 for heating oil (presumably, some are kicking in at least a bit of money of their own on top of that.) Last winter, at the Old Cold House, we spent less than $350 on oil for heat. This winter, we will wind up spending about $400 for heat (+/- $100 for electric, and $300 for wood– and that could be much less, but we bought really expensive wood.) I know most people don’t want to live the way we do, but it seems something could be learned from it. Rather than just throwing money and oil at the cold.