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one thing about it i think that most utility companies cannot shut off during the winter months.
I think more and more are going to have to start living with oil lamps and ice in coolers
 

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It is a shame, we are on the budget plan and weirdly enough our budget amount keeps going up. I am so worried about the price increase of 30% in the next year or so.
 

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Yeah, my cabin monthly payment went from $60 to $110. It was a really cold year here last year. I hope this next one is not as bad, then maybe what they budgeted me for, will take care of it. My house in town is heated by natural gas. That one scares me to death!!!
 

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We are looking to switch from oil to gas furnace at the end of summer--I'm not thrilled with all these price increases--there doesn't seem to be an economical way to heat my house and we *need* a new furnace!
 

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Interesting article...and sad... I wonder how things will go come winter?

I know the increase in food and gas is really starting to hurt us. We cut back our cell phone plan (shared minutes...no land line) to the bare minimum. It's saved a bit. I think we're going to have to start riding our bikes as much as possible...gas is just so much money, anymore. Not sure how to cut much more on utilities...our elec/gas are fixed (part of rent)...which yes, has gone up a bit (evidently we don't use a terribly large amount cause it hasn't gone up a TON). Thank goodness!
 

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Our very last electric bill was $249. But that's because we're running the central AC 24/7. So I'm just the opposite of most of you 'cause I can't wait for winter. Here in FL it's usually that the temps are "just right", which means we'll hardly turn on the AC or heat. Even when I do turn on the heat, It's only for about an hour to take the chill outta the house. With keeping the windows closed, it means it'll stay warm enough for us.

But I come from NY and it seemed like I was always filling that oil tank. So for those of you's in cold weather states, you certainly have my sympathy. But maybe it'll be a mild winter. Guess all's we can do is hope for the best.

I remember when we'd get black-outs from snow-storms. This was a fairly regular occurence, especially when we moved to Long Island. Those kerosene lamps and candles we used not only provided light, but also helped to provide some heat. So instead of thinking how we might've done in the 1930's, maybe we should all take a test for the 1870's....lol!

But on a serious note, I really hope we'll find ways to manage thru all this! Coming to FV will certainly help for ideas.

Theresa :)
 

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Our plan for the coming winter:

Our house, which we just moved into in January of this year, is an old stone house which has been added on to. The original part of the house is 100 years old this year. It has been insulated with blown-in insulation, but last winter, our bills topped out at $300-$400 a month for gas only. We obviously can't do that again this year. I spent all winter making payment arrangements with the gas company to keep the gas on.

To maintain heat in the house at minimal cost, this year, we are:

-putting plastic over ALL windows, including the french doors in the kitchen that lead to the deck.

-purchasing 2 small ceramic space heaters to supplement the furnace so we can keep it turned down as much as possible.

-during extreme cold snaps, we're considering having everyone sleep downstairs and sealing off the upstairs to keep more heat downstairs instead of heating the whole house.

-one word....SWEATSHIRTS!
 

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frightening....just plain scary!
 

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I think that i will buy me some cheap oil lamps and start using them as they use little oil per day. I know we are 1 income and we have to cut corners everywhere!
 

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i would started saving for the winter fuel now, save enough to either pay it all in one go or check last years bill and save that amount plus a bit extra that way if you need to have the extra heat/gas/oil then you know you have the $$$ for it.

stock up on jumpers/ joggers/ hot water bottles or anything that can help frugally with keeping the costs down
 

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Yep, we will need to start saving NOW for the gas bills this winter. My DH is a landscaper, and is laid off or plowing snow in the winter. So, this is his most profitable season...need to save now!
 

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frightening....just plain scary!
:yeah: "Duke Energy in North Carolina is averaging about 11,000 shutoffs a month" how sad. I'm shocked at the numbers. I saw a story on the news that many utilities are getting set to up rates. PSO in Tulsa (where we moved from) is raising rates 25% in July. It will only get worse if they do.
 

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This winter is going to be scary if the prices continue to rise as they have been.
My DH is a fireman and is dreading all of the "homemade" heating solutions that people will be coming up with in order to stay warm.
Pray for a mild winter!
 

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I read about this also and it is very very sad. I know our rates go up each year. I'm dreading the 30% increase that they say in coming withing a couple of years.
 

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Makes me glad to live in an apartment right now. Less area to heat and cool. Less to power.

I wonder if it will be worth it to ever buy a house with the cost of energy going up so much? I know I am doing what I can by using less and buying renewable energy credits to stimulate the green power market, but other than that? Bad situation.
 

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Reduce heating costs by these money saving tips

Do an energy audit of your house, identifying areas where heated air is leaking out. Check around doors, windows, fireplaces, and other areas that may feel drafty. Use caulk, weather stripping, door sweeps, plastic, and other appropriate means to close off these leaks. If your house is poorly insulated, adding additional insulation will pay for itself in reduced heating costs.

Minimize your use of ventilation fans such as bathroom fans and kitchen hood fans in winter. A bathroom fan can suck all the heated air out of the average house in little more than an hour. Over the course of the winter, ventilation fans can increase your heating costs by a surprising amount.

Don't heat areas of your house you don't use regularly, such as guest rooms. Close heating vents or turn back thermostats in those areas and close the doors for a painless reduction in heating costs.

Turn down the heat and use space heaters to heat the room you spend time in.

Keep your furnace, heat pump, or other heating equipment in top operating condition. Dirty filters reduce the efficiency of your furnace or heat pump. Poorly tuned units are inefficient and use more fuel. An annual maintenance agreement is well worth the money to ensure that your equipment is properly maintained and will last as long as possible.

Don't turn your thermostat up above the desired temperature. It won't heat up any more quickly and will make your furnace work harder. Also, while it makes sense to turn the heat back when you're sleeping or not at home, turning it down too low can actually cost you more because the contents of the house have to be re-heated in addition to the air. 68 to 70 degrees while you're home and awake, and 60 to 65% while you're asleep or not at home are reasonable temperatures.

Consider a programmable thermostat to raise and lower the temperature at pre-set times.

Check the temperature setting on your hot water heater. If you have a dishwasher, your water should be heated to 120%. Otherwise, it can be somewhat lower.

If your water heater is in an unheated space like an unfinished basement, wrap it in an insulation blanket available at hardware stores to prevent heat loss.

Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible.

It's tempting to stand under a hot shower on a cold morning for as long as possible, but cutting your shower time in half can save up to 33% on your hot water heating costs.

In winter, open the blinds and curtains on the sunny side of the house (the south-facing side) when the sun is shining and close them as soon as the sun goes down to retain the solar heat. Close curtains on the shady side of the house (north-facing side). If you don't have curtains, consider installing some. Curtains made from heavy fabric with lots of folds (fullness) can prevent cold air from seeping in and warm air from seeping out, which reduces your heating costs
 

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great tips!! our house is tiny , but needs some new windows. our new patio door this year should help a bit, but we need 3 other new windows in a bad way, but that won't be happening this year :( .... everyone wants our money ugh!! heating gas, car gas, groceries etc etc .... i signed us up for the equal billing for our gas for this year - will see how it goes
 

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Scary if you heat with oil/gas. I wish all the best. We primarily heat with wood. Is a wood stove an option for anybody? Last winter we did not turn the heaters on at all. Burned about 4 cords of wood.
 
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