Oil prices forcing people to leave Maine? (Boothbay, Lubec: houses, water heater)
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We have a neighbor (retired couple) who moved their daughter and her children in with them during the winter so they could all "work" together to make ends meet on the heating situation. Families may need to pull together this winter more than others in the recent past.
For us, we are planning to close up part of the house, use only wood (we cut from our land) when we are home, keep the house at 58 when we are at work (kitties need to stay warm too : ) ). Luckily, our old house is well insulated and stays cool in summer and holds a decent temperature inside in the winter. But we are scared of the heating oil prices as well, but we aren't leaving Maine. In Texas we paid 400-500 dollars a month on electricity to run the air conditioning April-November-so I guess it is all relative. I just wish that this oil situation was not really about greed!
we all seem to be nervous about this coming winter,,,however,,,we do know its coming...i think many folks are cutting back on the non-necessities,,,staying closer to the house on a vaca.... cooking more at home,,not eating out.. saying "no" to thier kids and high priced brand name stuff....
im going to start working saturdays and sundays to put that money aside just for fuel,,,
I would not have thought that there were truly so many folks in Maine heating with oil.
Every house I've ever lived in up here had oil heat, either as the main source or back-up. I once lived in a very small house that only had a woodstove, but after some years we added a small oil furnace.
Wood stoves are a wonderful thing but you can't always be there night and day to tend them. I've had traditional cast-iron antiques with mica "windows", end heaters, airtights, fireplaces, you name it. I love wood stoves and love tending them, but some kind of reliable backup is a must if you're not home 24/7. Although, on a dark, snowy, blustery night, it's lovely to sit in a rocking chair with a good book in front of a roaring wood fire, and hear nothing but the crackling and snapping of the logs.
I saw an article in the paper about cordwood also getting expensive. Since not everyone has a woodlot or the means/knowledge to cut & split their own, I'm truly concerned about Maine citizens this year.
"We are dependant on an energy source that is limited and dwindling."
In 1940 we has about 6.25 million acres of pasture and cultivated land ion Maine. Today we have just over a million. The forests are taking over. In my lifetime we have gained an average of 77,000 acres a year of forest. International Paper used a growth rate of 1/3 cord per acre a year without diminishing total volume; so with that 5,000,000 acres we have gained we could take 4.3 million tons of wood every year forever and never run out. That's 3.4 tons for every man, woman and child in the state each year.
If it came down to that we could get along just fine on wood.
"we are dependant on an energy source that is limited and dwindling."
in 1940 we has about 6.25 million acres of pasture and cultivated land ion maine. Today we have just over a million. The forests are taking over. In my lifetime we have gained an average of 77,000 acres a year of forest. International paper used a growth rate of 1/3 cord per acre a year without diminishing total volume; so with that 5,000,000 acres we have gained we could take 4.3 million tons of wood every year forever and never run out. That's 3.4 tons for every man, woman and child in the state each year.
If it came down to that we could get along just fine on wood.
Maine was never an easy place to live climate wise and as far as employment. The cost of living has risen exponentially the last 20 years. Real estate can still be reasonable for an existing home, but taxes and energy are the killer.
Now, add on the price of fuel to get to work and winter heat and it can be a recipe for disaster. In many parts of the state, it isn't like you can just schlep down to the local market or fast food joint to get part time employment, as most small jobs are already taken if they exist at all. Most of the mill jobs are gone and people are making less in real dollars anyway.
Maine has always had a Yankee ethic of getting by, making due or wearing it out. Trouble now is, many families could barely afford to live here before the exodus of jobs and escalating energy prices. Add to that, the state has subsidized about 50% of Mainers with some kind of welfare. In other words, people couldn't afford to live here in the first place.
The weather and sheer distance from the rest of the New England population has always been the great equalizer up here. I am in interested to see how much the average citizen is going to take before they demand relief on their tax bills. Will they wake up and demand fewer services and tighter school budgets before towns and schools will have to be shut down? Time will tell, but the exodus has begun!
Twiggy, our budget plan was $265/month, and we came out ahead (again) with a credit. Our *new* plan, which has us starting in August, will be $356/month....it would have been $371/month (for 10 months) but we rolled the credit over. We're at about 3400 sq ft according to our appraisal....with 15 rooms and 3 baths. We do have HWBB with 3 zones, and while I do keep the heat down, I don't keep it down as much as I could. I will make changes this year--my office will come upstairs, and during the day we'll have the heat down to 65 (I'm the only one home during the day) and I'll use the propane insert on one of the fireplaces if it gets chilly. Our house could use some improvements, it's only 32 years old, but there are better windows and doors out there now--that would cut down some too. The best thing we did was install a new boiler last year. We never could have predicted this spike in oil, but with a newer more efficient boiler it will really pay for itself.
I too worry about the older people and those on fixed incomes. I'm just not sure how they're going to do it. The worst part is, there's no reason for it. It all comes down to greed. There is no shortage, it's just manipulation. It's sickening.
God I know! I just found that out yesterday! No reason for it what so ever but greed. It's just a shame! That's one this about Maine I've noticed, a lot of people seem to care about each other there. I guess they have to stick together with those winters..
I pay about 500.00 a month for elec.. in Phoenix AZ from May to Oct. for cooling the house. I'm trying to see if I moved to ME how different the cost would be. I would be building and have a different kind of house planned. A main narrow common house with 4 small cottages behind connected with a walk way. Thinking now maybe a wood stove in each unit. Maybe a wind turb or something. Building 1/2 of it myself so any suggestions would be fine. Have 3 kids, 2 of which are teens and a sterdy granny who wants to live off the land. lol Scares me a little. he he But this house plan makes it easier to build. Found some buildable land on Boothbay. Anyone familiar with that area? Any construction workers on here or has anyone built themselves or some anyway? What would you suggest for heating if you were starting from scratch? Each cottage will be small, one room a toilet and a sink. Main house would be kitchen and gathering room. Sep bath cottage. Am I crazy? he he Please give you opinions. Would love to live as much off grid as poss.. but money is an issue. Thanks Oh, house plan is such that I can build myself, no second story, no great spans. Thanks
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