If you haven’t heard about it then let me start by saying- yet again a shortage is controlling our money. There is a propane shortage across the nation so clearly that means to raise the cost right? As if making more money will some how magically produce more propane. In my opinion it is corporate greed wanting to profit off of those in need during these harsh cold days because they know we do not have a choice.
Ok off my soap box… In reality the propane shortage is being blamed on the weather, and the fact that we had a really wet harvest so farmers used extra propane for their heaters to dry their corn. Simple as that. But those two things is enough to make 33 states declare a Energy Emergency which allows truck to travel for longer times before having to stop for rest. With the polar vortex that hit and more arctic blasts bringing the cold to us this will only get worse before it gets better. In fact states like Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee have started to limit their customers to 100 gallons at a time. Wisconsin’s governor has released 8.5 million dollars in funds to help people pay for their propane. And while we are all trying to save the propane and worrying about keeping our kids warm- we are also having to worry about our pocket books. The companies that sell us our heat (in a sense) have raised the prices from $1.80/gallon to in some places over $5/gallon.
Let me put this into perspective for you… At $1.80 a gallon my propane bill at the beginning of this month was just above $400.. Next time we have it filled (because we have more winter coming) it will cost us between $500-$1000. Yep you read that right they expect average joes to pay close to $1000 to keep their kids warm.
So since Law Enforcement and Teaching (or a para educator in my case) makes oh so much money, here are some tips to help cut on cost and save some propane to hopefully last until spring or summer when the price is cheaper!
- Turn down the thermostat. We have ours set at around 63 degrees. No matter how high I turn it up not a lot of heat is making it upstairs so we might as well just keep it down. I know 63 when it is like -40 doesn’t feel to warm- but during the day when no one is home- turn it down even lower!
- Seal things up! In our house we have a few doors with those old skeleton key holes. We have put duct tape over them to keep the cold air from creeping in. We have also placed towels at the bottom of all doors leading to the outside to seal up any air that may be coming in. We have also placed towels on some windows to block some draft and will be getting some plastic to put over them.
- Alternate heat- if you have a wood burning stove- use it! We do not have one, but my daughter has a heater in her room (one of the electric ones that shut off when it warms up enough and will turn back on when cooled to a certain point). We have that set at a decent level and keep her door open so the heat can flow out into some of the other upstairs rooms. We plan on investing in a few other heaters- but if we could we would burn wood!
- Double up! My kids have extra comforters on their beds to help them stay warm. And they of course sleep in the appropriate winter pj’s
- Leave the oven open! When you are done baking- turn off the oven and leave the door open! It truly does help a little bit and hey- every little bit is worth it!