Outside the Shock Zone

I have to tell you, it is a pleasant feeling to read stories such as this one, about heating oil prices being up 32% (84¢ / gallon) over last year, and realize that the news will not directly affect me at all.  An acquaintance (who I believe lives alone) posted on her Facebook page that she expects this increase in oil price will cost her an extra $800 for heating this winter.  Algebra suggests that her total oil bill will thus be somewhere over $3,000– a number which just about gives me apoplexy.  Anyway, she is shocked, and I would be too.  Indeed, I was shocked, three autumns ago, when oil was close to $4/gallon— so shocked that I didn’t turn on the furnace until New Year’s, and started a new, and rather liberating, way of winter life.  My sympathies go out to everyone who is looking at these numbers, looking at their furnaces, looking at their paychecks, then looking at real estate in South Carolina.  But I have some hope that a few may be sufficiently jolted that they start to look instead at other options for living more sustainably here in beautiful New England– “radical” as the options may be.

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6 Responses to “Outside the Shock Zone”

  1. Rising Tide Says:

    Just a reminder: simply setting back your thermostat a couple of degrees will make up the difference. You don’t even have to go all the way like Cold House in order to impact your heating bill. I’ll be fighting with my wife over rolling us back to 60 this winter instead of our normal 64-65…

  2. BMc Says:

    Glad to see it seems you’ll be keeping this blog going. I came across it toward the end of last winter and found it very interesting!

  3. Chrystine Says:

    Yowsers!!! Read about your heating costs in the winter…Holy Cow! We in the southwest have high air conditioning cost in the summers where temps can be up around 127 sometimes. Air conditioning 24/7 is a must sometimes. I just recently installed a very large and efficient Swamp cooler that will not only cool the garage but the entire house. Power bills can get up to and over $300/month in the summer, which is nothing compared to your winter fuel bills. The Swamp cooler does not do well with high humidity, of which we get just a few days, and I haven’t had my air on for weeks. Looking forward to seeing the savings in my power bill next year on my cost averaging invoice.

  4. Cold House Journal Says:

    “Power bills can get up to and over $300/month in the summer, which is nothing compared to your winter fuel bills.” Well, that’s a lot compared to the “fuel” bills at THIS house, but no, not compared to the average home around here…

  5. Kitty Says:

    I live in Atlanta, GA where it gets “devil hot” in summer. I’ve never had air conditioning. I use fans. I haven’t suffered, although there are times when the housework doesn’t get done. I have no central heat either. It gets cold and snows, but the longest I’ve run my electric heaters is 16 weeks. I’m kind o’ proud of myself and plan this way until I either melt into an oily pool or am discovered as an icy version of Lot’s wife.

    Press on, O! (Modern) Pioneers.

    • coldhousejournal Says:

      Ha– thanks for the entertaining comment! Of course, we up here might debate whether it ever actually gets “cold” in Georgia, but there’s no doubt what we call “hot as hell” here in Maine is just a pleasantly warm day to you : )

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