Monday, December 26, 2016

Keeping an eye on energy costs, the household budget


Our move to the city brought a lot of changes, including changes in our utlities:

Cable/Internet: we now have a different company than before, and because we moved, we are on a special 2 year "promo" paying about what we were before, but now having expanded service/channels

Electric: the range and clothes dryer are now gas, the water is now heated with electricity, we have central air conditioning vs window units, the appliances are 10 years old vs brand new. I have budgeted $220/month for electric as charges level themselves out. Previously, this was $120.

Heating Oil: no longer is used to heat the water or the home. I was budgeting $250/month ($181.80 for heat, $68.20 for hot water using 12/26/16 oil prices). We use either electric or gas now.

Gas: I budget $25/month for the gas stove use. I am now getting a handle on heating charges, including the transition months before/after Winter, where use gradually increases, spikes in the Winter, gradually declines. I just got my Dec bill for gas : $118.39-$25 for the range=$93.39 to heat in Winter. Figuring 4 months of winter heating, and factoring the aforementioned gradual increase and decrease in use come Fall and Spring, I have an approximation for the heat costs here, where we do have 2 programable thermostats in use. $465.56 is my figure but I'll bump that to $500/year + $300 for the gas range for a total of $800/year or $66.67/month. SOOOO much cheaper than heating water and/or the home with oil. Something to keep in mind as I contemplate moving and/or purchasing real estate.

Gas use has been up lately: holiday baking, use of the fireplace, use of the gas dryer. Time to reign this in.

1 comment:

mikemax said...

I grew up with oil heat, but all of the houses I've owned as an adult have had natural gas forced air systems. I love natural gas! And, at the moment, there is nothing cheaper. However, 10-12 years ago, I did the math according to average prices AT THE TIME and oil came out cheaper, because you get more BTUs per gallon. This was at a time when the price of oil was UP; natural gas does not fluctuate as much and the price is regulated by Public Utility Commissions. There are so many variables that I would hate to make a comparison...but that was it at the time. As I said, I love natural gas and have no plans to get anything else. We have LP (liquid propane) at our other house and it's a lot more expensive because of fewer BTUs per gallon. On the other hand, it's only been $1.40 gallon the last two winters. The Northeast and New England run on oil, but if you were ever in a position of needing to replace a furnace, go for gas!