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Old 09-28-2014, 11:48 AM
 
19 posts, read 41,009 times
Reputation: 75

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Hi All:

I may be moving my family to Vermont soon (I'll know before the end of this week). Specifically, I'd be working in South Royalton (about 30-40mi south of Montpelier). Of course I wouldn't necessarily have to live in South Royalton...but I'd like to try to find a place as close to South Royalton as possible (if not in the town itself).

Money will be VERY tight if I take the job there and move my family---so tight, that I can't accept the position without getting some hard numbers on utility costs (as well as a very good idea what a rental house would cost---since we won't be able to buy a home right away).

I'm going to try to find out elsewhere online...but I need to find out:
what electric utility company services the South Royalton area (so I can get a precise cost per Kwh)
whether most home heating is electric (heat pump), oil, or natural gas? (Or "it depends")
what natural gas company services the South Royalton area

I'm sure others have had to do this as well, but I feel like I have to have an *extremely* accurate assessment of what our cost of living will be before I say "yes" to this job.

I love Vermont and want to live there (and the job is great), but the pay isn't as high as I've been earning in West Virginia. And what I've seen and heard so far suggests the cost of living in VT is considerably higher than in West Virginia (which is below the national average).

Any info (from anyone who lives in the South Royalton area or knows something about it) is appreciated!

Thanks,
Scott
Morgantown, WV
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Old 09-28-2014, 01:30 PM
 
19 posts, read 41,009 times
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I think the power company is Green Mountain Power? And I think their residential rate is about $0.14/kWh? (Does that sound right?)

Scott
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Old 09-28-2014, 02:14 PM
 
809 posts, read 676,989 times
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Search "livable wage vermont" to get an idea of how much you'd need to be earning to get by in S. Royalton with your size family. If they don't have South Royalton listed, you'll have to settle for Windsor County's numbers.You're probably too late for fuel assistance application, but don't hesitate to apply for whatever's available to help you get by. Both the local food shelf and the state nutritionist in the local Department of Health office will have info on making your food dollar last, there's both SNAP and (for pg women and kids under 5) the WIC program; and the local Parent-Child Center will have additional resources for you. In general, we Vermonters believe families, especially with children, should not have to bear stresses which might fracture them, and we appreciate that such services are there for all. I have numerous friends who started here as hippies, eventually moved on to mainstream jobs, and in the subsequent decades have willingly paid higher taxes so that the new arrivals get the same help they received forty and fifty years ago.
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Old 09-28-2014, 02:48 PM
 
19 posts, read 41,009 times
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Thanks cgregor. As a point of reference, my salary at the job I might be offered is in the $50K-60K range. So we certainly wouldn't be living at the poverty level...and I also realize there are many other ways we could reduce living costs---most obviously by sacrificing living space in a rental house (e.g. go with 2 bedrooms instead of 3 or 4).

There are just so many variables, trying to come up with an accurate cost of living is tough. But I appreciate that Vermonters are dedicated to preserving families. (That's a good idea!)

We're also trying to find out things like how houses are typically heated: electricity? Natural gas? Or oil? Looking around it seems many homes are oil heated, which surprises me (since oil is far from carbon neutral)...but I guess it may be because so many houses are older...

Scott
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Old 09-28-2014, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Vermont
3,329 posts, read 8,781,590 times
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No natural gas in South Royalton so you are looking at wood, heating oil, or propane for heating. Electric heating would be REALLY expensive and I'd be surprised if you even found a place that has it.
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Old 09-28-2014, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Pinal County, Az.
385 posts, read 516,774 times
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Don't do it! We lived in Vt for many years and that salary is just not enough. Oil is the common heat and it's crazy expensive. Taxes are thru the roof. Vermont is not the "Vermont Life" thing at all. Its cold, dark and expensive. And filled with out of stater's with more money than God! Glad we left and we'll never go back to live.
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Old 09-28-2014, 06:25 PM
 
221 posts, read 266,016 times
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I don't know about south royalton in particular, but if it's any help between heat and electricity we're normally around $200 a month in the winter.
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:00 AM
 
35,324 posts, read 25,151,966 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post

I may be moving my family to Vermont soon (I'll know before the end of this week). Specifically, I'd be working in South Royalton (about 30-40mi south of Montpelier). Of course I wouldn't necessarily have to live in South Royalton...but I'd like to try to find a place as close to South Royalton as possible (if not in the town itself).

I can't say much about your questions, but having just been on Royalton, I will say this: Worthy Burger.

Do it.
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Western views of Mansfield/Camels Hump!
1,942 posts, read 3,235,281 times
Reputation: 1085
A lot of these questions are really tied to what kind of home you end up living in and how you live....we looked at several homes before purchasing and they all had wide variables in utility use.

I work from home, we have two computers/printer/etc going all day...our electric bill with GMP runs right around $90 during the summer, and low $100's in the winter (it's usually just the two of us here, though sometimes my mom is here for a few weeks at a time, to give you an idea of how many are in the household)...we have oil heat - last year, without using any wood, from November through May of this year, we used about 830 gallons of oil, but we also have oil hot water. We have propane for our generator but just had it topped off last week for $120; we did not use it that much last year.

Our house is about 1600 square feet, plus about 900 square foot finished basement...we have pretty good sun exposure, which I think helps with solar gain and also helps with electric - we hardly ever have lights on during the day.
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:38 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 92,254,680 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
I love Vermont and want to live there (and the job is great), but the pay isn't as high as I've been earning in West Virginia. And what I've seen and heard so far suggests the cost of living in VT is considerably higher than in West Virginia (which is below the national average).
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
Thanks cgregor. As a point of reference, my salary at the job I might be offered is in the $50K-60K range. So we certainly wouldn't be living at the poverty level...
Since I'm from Pittsburgh, I'm well aware of your cost of living in Morgantown. You're in for a shock going from a low cost of living with a higher salary to a high cost of living with a lower salary. You're truly going to be literally just making ends meet. One catastrophe or minor mismanagement of funds could be a tipping point for you.

When you look at the Vermont livable wage calculator, only take into consideration the columns with one parent because the two parent columns assume a stay at home parent and no childcare costs. Scroll down the page to see expenses for the county and you'll see it's only calculating food, housing, transportation and medical care. If you have two children, 50k provides only that. If you have three children, 60k provides only that. Anything else, clothing, entertainment, activities, purchases like furniture, appliances, savings account, etc.., would require you to earn MORE than 50k to 60k.

Living Wage Calculator - Living Wage Calculation for Windsor County, Vermont

Are you unemployed in West Virginia? I can't imagine why else you would consider such a move. There has to be a job with a better salary/cost of living ratio than what you're considering for Vermont.
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