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Unread 07-14-2008, 02:04 PM
 
32 posts, read 92,187 times
Reputation: 34
Northern Maine Land Man.... I appreciate your comments, and they are generally true about failing to plan. But HOW does one plan for a 300% increase in one's oil bill in less that four years? It is unimaginable. No one could have expected it or planned for it. I am happy for persons who are uneffected by such an increase -- or whose income can just absorb it. I just don't know any.
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Unread 07-14-2008, 02:43 PM
 
Location: CO
1,388 posts, read 2,242,887 times
Reputation: 723
This new event we're experiencing can be summed up as "The Consequences of Complacency"

From the lowest person on the totem pole to the highest echelons of corporate America, we've collectively spent the past 20+ years sleepwalking ourselves toward a cliff, and we've got one foot dangling in the void now...will we step off or will we catch ourselves? Or will we catch ourselves only to have some other unknown factor step in and give us a nice, firm shove?

Had we understood the true value of liquid fuels, perhaps we might have set up a living arrangement that was not wholly dependent on them. Hindsight is 20/20, but there are plenty of people out there who knew this was coming, yet nobody listened...we were too busy 'living the dream' with no thought as to what the future consequences might be.

That future is now and it isn't looking too promising for a lot of folks. What now?

Last edited by Shuffler; 07-14-2008 at 03:40 PM..
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Unread 07-14-2008, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
20,935 posts, read 24,640,838 times
Reputation: 8097
LillieB -

"But HOW does one plan for a 300% increase in one's oil bill in less that four years?"

I do not know how.



"No one could have expected it or planned for it"

I agree. Though we have all known that the price of oil has been climbing for decades.



"I am happy for persons who are uneffected by such an increase -- or whose income can just absorb it. I just don't know any."

I think that everyone everywhere is effected in some manner. This is not localized to Maine.

Everyone in our culture is being effected.
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Unread 07-14-2008, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Freeport ME
106 posts, read 313,441 times
Reputation: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
I just moved here.

Some of us are designing or have designed our homes; and have made the decision to live here based on personal experiences in other states and nations.
And I would have to add that not everyone can improve the insulation in their homes, change the way its heated OR design their own homes. That is a luxury that lots of people who have lived here for decades cannot afford or will be able to ever afford.
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Unread 07-14-2008, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Freeport ME
106 posts, read 313,441 times
Reputation: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by starwalker View Post
That is all in your point of view, man! Each to their own.. but having DONE just that -- raising 5 daughters -- I have no issue with such a life. "Just existing" to me is working my fingers to the bone just to pay for overhead. I'd much rather live with less and get it in a more direct manner.

No, not everyone can change their insulation... but most CAN plug cracks and gaps, add heavier draperies (even if this means blankets from second-hand stores on the windows), wear more clothing when inside, turn down the thermostat and save money other ways... such as turning OFF things they are not using...

...and for that matter, not everyone is in the position where they CAN move (moving costs $$$ too).
Oh I do know that everyone is not in a position to move. Im very lucky in that way I have the mobility to move. I also agree that there is LOTS everyone can do to tighten up the home for winter. But the truth is that if you rely on oil heat you will still have to keep that furnace running and that tank filled this winter. No matter how many sweaters you put on, how many cracks you fill or drapes you hang, that oil bill is going to be extremely hard on people this winter.

My decision to move is based on more than oil prices....that was just the slight final nudge I needed to do it. I just want to live someplace else before I get to old to want to move. Who knows, I could be back in a year or two...anyone wanna start placing bets now?
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Unread 07-14-2008, 04:12 PM
 
8,748 posts, read 10,488,878 times
Reputation: 3392
Quote:
Originally Posted by warpedg View Post
And I would have to add that not everyone can improve the insulation in their homes, change the way its heated OR design their own homes. That is a luxury that lots of people who have lived here for decades cannot afford or will be able to ever afford.
I have to agree with you somewhat on this subject. We have done things we thought were energy saving and prudent in the twenty years we have lived in our current home. We tore out the old kitchen insulated, changed the windows in that room and put in all energy star compliant appliances, with the exception of the gas range which is a scaled down commercial range.
There was a new furnace installed the year we moved in and even though it is 20 years old now it still is quite efficient and runs around 89% efficiency.
We currently heat all of our hot water with oil and may be looking into changing to instant heaters in the near future.

This year we are adding some insulation to the attic this fall, installing new low-e insulated windows in the rest of the house, adding a soapstone woodstove, installing doorway circulation fans,and stockpiling about 6 cords of wood. Just these improvements will cost us nearly $12,000. We don't carry a mortgage so we have no problem tapping equity in the value of the house to pay for the improvements. Others are not so fortunate. There is no way we could afford these things on top of a mortgage and two car payments.
I'm sure people would love to throw money into doing the kinds of things we are doing ....who doesn't like the idea of saving money on oil? The fact is they really just don't have the extra cash to do it. Especially now when their oil bills have risen 300%! That's the big problem here.The oil rose far too quickly for people to even try to implement a conservation plan.
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Unread 07-14-2008, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Rhode Island
1,910 posts, read 2,278,493 times
Reputation: 2606
Quote:
Originally Posted by warpedg View Post
And I would have to add that not everyone can improve the insulation in their homes, change the way its heated OR design their own homes. That is a luxury that lots of people who have lived here for decades cannot afford or will be able to ever afford.
When I was a young boy, my parents and grandparents were unable to afford heating oil many times during the winter. This was in the 1950's, in a city in Rhode Island (a depressed/depressing state if ever there was one). We all lived together. My younger brother and I knew that in the worst of winter, the living room and bedrooms would be closed off at our house. Only the kitchen and dining room would be heated, and none too well. We used an electric space heater in the bathroom. Our uncle would come over after severe cold spells to check the pipes. Sometimes they were frozen.

Those were the days of scratchy wool sweaters and heavy pajamas with drop-seats in the back and feet built in. The adults would sleep in the bedrooms (closed off) under heavy blankets and my brother and I would sleep on folding cots in the dining room. Each morning we got a spoonful of cod liver oil ("Father John's") and stayed healthy. Our classmates at school often had similar arrangements.

Nowadays I don't know of many folks who even own a wool blanket, nor many youngsters who know what cod liver oil is. I can tell you that I grew to a strapping 6' 3" by the age of 17, and my brother reached 6' 4" and was a basketball star in high school. We are both still healthy at age 60 and 58.

We didn't have money to waste on insulation, or designing our own house. We made do the best we could, and thought nothing of it, as did our neighbors and classmates. Bob and I did not grow up scarred for life or with 'low self-esteem'. Today's children are being coddled by parents on a guilt trip because they both have to work all day to make ends meet. Americans need to get off the wealth-for-show merry-go-round and start facing the fact that our economy is in a serious decline for the moment. I think all of us will be affected by this.

Just "do the best you can", and you'll get by, as will we all.
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Unread 07-14-2008, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Portland Oregon area
144 posts, read 420,455 times
Reputation: 78
Beautifully put, Nor'Eastah.
I'm working on wool filled quilts for my kids right now in preperation for moving there this Winter.
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Unread 07-14-2008, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Rhode Island
1,910 posts, read 2,278,493 times
Reputation: 2606
Quote:
Originally Posted by corel View Post
Beautifully put, Nor'Eastah.
I'm working on wool filled quilts for my kids right now in preperation for moving there this Winter.
Great! You and your kids will really find those worth their weight in, er...WOOL! Good idea! Warm idea!
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Unread 07-14-2008, 04:45 PM
 
441 posts, read 544,316 times
Reputation: 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineah View Post
I have to agree with you somewhat on this subject. We have done things we thought were energy saving and prudent in the twenty years we have lived in our current home. We tore out the old kitchen insulated, changed the windows in that room and put in all energy star compliant appliances, with the exception of the gas range which is a scaled down commercial range.
There was a new furnace installed the year we moved in and even though it is 20 years old now it still is quite efficient and runs around 89% efficiency.
We currently heat all of our hot water with oil and may be looking into changing to instant heaters in the near future.

This year we are adding some insulation to the attic this fall, installing new low-e insulated windows in the rest of the house, adding a soapstone woodstove, installing doorway circulation fans,and stockpiling about 6 cords of wood. Just these improvements will cost us nearly $12,000. We don't carry a mortgage so we have no problem tapping equity in the value of the house to pay for the improvements. Others are not so fortunate. There is no way we could afford these things on top of a mortgage and two car payments.
I'm sure people would love to throw money into doing the kinds of things we are doing ....who doesn't like the idea of saving money on oil? The fact is they really just don't have the extra cash to do it. Especially now when their oil bills have risen 300%! That's the big problem here.The oil rose far too quickly for people to even try to implement a conservation plan.
Very good observations, Maineah.
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