Endsleigh specialise in Home Contents Insurance for people in the UK

Big oil will NOT be getting a Christmas present this year


We’ve all heard the frightening news reports about rising gas prices, and how we should plan on a 30-50% increase in our bills this winter. We knew it was coming. A week ago, I got a letter warning us that our “Budget Plan” (and certainly, that term deserves to be in quotations!) utility bill was going to rise.

So why was I so blown away when the new bill came? Because they’ve raised our monthly payment by over 50%. ALL YEAR. I guess they’re covering their own butts and making sure they’ll get enough money out of us, but who the hell can afford such a crazy raise in bills? Especially because, if you heard what we already pay to heat this place, you’d gag.

Little do they know the lengths we’ll go to save a buck. We’ve shut off radiators in rooms we don’t use (which, given how big the house is, are numerous). We’re keeping the temperature low, bundling up in sweats, and putting hideous (but thick) curtains on most of our windows. We insulated the heck out of everything we can get to, and our war against drafts will no doubt continue until next spring.

But sadly, if our bills actually go up as high as they say they will, our monthly Home Depot spending money will go straight to National Grid. Which means we’ll be stuck tackling strictly cheap fixes, like scraping wallpaper. NO FAIR!

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Greg had this to say on 11.01.05:

And to add insult to injury it was just announced 2 days ago that all major oil companies had record profits last quarter. Exxon/Mobil raked in nearly 10 billion dollars in profits in just a 3 month period! That is not revenue that is profit!!! That is the largest profit EVERY for an American Corporation for 1 quarter!

Tony had this to say on 11.01.05:

Are they raising your electric as well as gas? I’ve been hearing 20% increases localling in _gas_ prices, but nothing mentioning electric bills. We picked up 2 oil filled electric radiators, one that has a timer, at Lowe’s and are using those to keep from turning the main furnace on as high.

mindy had this to say on 11.02.05:

Greg – Yes, I heard that report….doesn’t it kill you? I can’t believe we’re getting no help on this one. And apparently New York is even worse than the rest of the nation for some mysterious reason. Hello, government folks? When you start whining about how no one is spending enough money at Christmas time, and it’s going to start a recession, I will be plugging my ears.

Tony – I haven’t gotten the actual bill yet, so I don’t know where exactly they’re getting their crazy figures from. I’ll keep you posted though. We’ve been thinking about oil radiators too, since we spend 99% of our time in either the living room or the bedroom and our house is ginormous. I read an article on This Old House that, summarized, said for a big house the radiators will save money, but if you have a small, efficiently heated house it’ll probably even out.

Alex had this to say on 11.02.05:

In preperation, we are spending more money up front to try to get on in the savings as early as possible. So I am buying a 92% efficient boiler and indirect hot water tank to replace our current gas heater and gas furnace. Then running radiant floor heat on the first floor. Then I am buying a hydronic heater/AC handler to replace our electric attic furnace/AC handler. So in all I will use less gas due to efficiency and fewer lines, and less electricity by heating with water, all the while making the house more comfortable. Also, I am building new storm windows out of cedar to replace the old triple tracks that I took off and threw out when our house was painted.

I wonder how it will shake out this winter, and if my install plan will hit a snag and leave us half the winter without heat :-)

LisaB had this to say on 11.03.05:

That does suck (I hate a cold house!), but if we considered what people pay for fuel elsewhere in the world we probably wouldn’t complain. Given the appraoching peak oil situation, I think we all need to face the fact that our cheap-energy-based lifestyles aren’t going to cut it in the future.

Kristin had this to say on 11.07.05:

Yep, we’re dreading the first gas bill of the winter, though so far we’ve kept the thermostat low enough that the heat hardly ever kicks on. But it’s still fairly warm here.

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