Friday, August 15, 2008

Gas Prices Are Out Of Control

For all that don't know, I live way out in the middle of know where. Yes, the country. My husband and I decided several years ago this was the place we wanted to live and start a family. So in 2001 we took the plunge and purchased our cute little house that sits on 1.5 acres. We were ecstatic to say the least when we moved in to our new home. We love all the nature and the peace of the countryside. Our home is about 8 miles from town. The driving distance is no big deal until you start adding up the miles and how much gas you used just from driving into town and back home again. No, it's not that far to drive but every gallon of gas counts these days. Now with these high gas prices I keep asking myself "Why did we move way our here again?" This cute little house that we bought just to be in the country is heated by propane gas. We use about 1,065 gallons of propane per year. A few years ago I decided to put us on the monthly payment plan through our gas company. The way it works is very similar to the DTE Energy budget plan. They average you gas usage from the previous 11 months and come up with your new monthly payment. Then on the 12th month of your contract you settle your bill with the gas company. Every year we have the agonizing task of calling our gas company to try and barter to get a lower price per gallon for the propane. Well, let me tell you, our gas company wouldn't have any of that. No negotiating price with them. If you want gas to heat your home you must pay what they set the price at. I have to say I’m not very happy with Amerigas at the present moment. This year my contract renewed for the budget plan year and they sent us our first bill and I almost literally had a heart attack on top of cry my eyes out. They are charging us $2.63 per gallon and we use about 1,065 gallons of gas. Our monthly payment works out to be around $255 per month, which includes taxes and other fees. That's just a crazy payment to be making per month for 11 months. Uggg, it hurts to think about the final total. You guessed it, $2,800.95 per year to heat our home. See, doesn't it hurt to hear that number? Last year we were purchasing propane at $1.85 per gallon. So you can see how the price has spiked in one year. I keep thinking I could be putting that $2,800 into my retirement plan. It makes me so mad!!! We're not rich people and don't live in a huge mansion. You'd think I did with this type of gas price. We live in a modest 1400 square foot ranch that is moderately insulated. I just can't figure out what other people are going to do about their gas bills this year. How will they survive? It's not like you can go without heat here in the state of Michigan. It's a total necessity. Last year my hubby decided to install a wood burning stove in our basement. It worked out great last winter but it just couldn't keep up with the size of our home. I froze all winter long and we kept the heat at 68 degrees. Burrrr!!! On a positive note burning wood all last winter cut our gas usage by half, but it just wasn’t enough. This year we have decided to be totally aggressive about cutting back on our gas usage. We basically are not going to depend on the gas company to heat our home. I guess in a strange kind of way we are going to live like the pioneers did back in the day. We took a personal loan out and purchase an outdoor furnace made by Heatmor. This furnace is fueled by wood. This thing is just gigantic! It looks like a mini house that you install out side and it burns wood from 24-48 hours before it needs a fill. You actually pipe this furnace into the ductwork of your home. Of course we still will have a propane tank on the side of our home just in case of an emergency. We won't have to get the propane tank filled every six weeks in the winter months. Yippie!!! I was a little hesitant about buying this crazy contraption but I felt we were backed into a corner with these outrageous gas bills and we had no choice. These type of gas bills will eventually drowned us financially. I'm scared to see what next year will bring with propane prices. I'm assuming if we had stayed dependent on propane alone our payment for next year would sky rocket to $300 plus per month. My husband assures me that this funny looking furnace will pay for itself in 3 years. God, I hope so! My brilliant hubby will start the installation of our wood furnace in a few weeks. I say he's brilliant because I have absolutely no idea what he is talking about when it comes to installing this thing. I have to say he sure is handy. I knew there was a reason I married him. There's lots of preparation required before the actual furnace is delivered. The owner of the store we purchased the wood furnace from told us that people are buying these furnaces up like crazy. He just can't keep them in stock. Our furnace is back ordered until the end of September. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this new fire-breathing monster works out. Wish us luck. We have a road trip in a few weeks to visit our friends up north. They are also buying one of these wood furnaces and my hubby in going to help with the install. The funny thing is that our friends are also with Amerigas. They are just as angry with Amerigas as we are. Hmmm, imagine that!

1 comment:

  1. Sorry I didn't read the whole thing. But I do so agree with that something has to change with the price of fuel. Fuel to heat our house and fuel for the cars is just killing us. I think your idea of a wood burning boiler is great. I think it will really help.


I lovvvvvve comments. So feel free to comment as often as you like. As always I will return the favor.