"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Friday, February 22, 2008


I'm sitting here looking at my almost 170$ gas bill for the past month which I received this morning (and promptly paid in full, thank you kindly).

The bill is 50$ more than last month. We've had a proper winter with lots of deep colds.

I decided this year that I wasn't going to cheap out on heat. I've had it with that. I vowed that I would never again go through winter having to wear a coat and mitts indoors.

While the upper floor of the house remains positively chilly and uninviting, I've managed to be comfortable on the main floor, provided I wear thick socks and a warm sweater, all of which is quite reasonable. I've been cranking the heat up to 19 or even 20 some evenings. It's still chilly in here, though, and I have to hike the temp up even higher when I have guests, as well as run a space heater upstairs. So I'm guessing that I'm not being completely unreasonable.

The furnace has a programmable thermostat, so at least I'm only heating when I'm home, and that only when I'm awake. I've also programmed it to go up a few degrees before I get home or rise in the morning so that I don't end up cranking it up from 15 or 16 degrees straight to 20. At night, the temperature goes down to 17, which is just perfect for my outfit of flannel pjs with thick socks and a bed dressed with flannel sheets, a thick blanket, and a down comforter. I tried 16 for a while and that didn't work; I'd wake up in the middle of the night because I was too cold to sleep. It's amazing the difference a degree makes.

So far for the year, my heating bills average out to 50$ per month if I were to spread them out over 12 equal payments. Add to that the 50$ hydro is costing me thanks to the price hike and energy costs for this house average out to about 100$ per month. That's fifty dollars less per month than I was paying at my old house and could explain why I've been positively non-frugal about using electricity and gas here. Run the dishwasher? Sure! Have a fifteen minute boiling hot shower? Why not!

Eventually, I will return to more frugal and energy-wise ways, but that won't be for a while yet since I still associate those things with poverty. I can't wait to associate them with a new, energy-efficient, off-the-grid house of my very own. :-)


1001 Petals said...

Wow, I'm glad most apartments around here include utilities. Actually I won't move somewhere that doesn't include it.

We keep our heat around 30-33*! Before the baby, we kept it around 26* though. Then again, we also live in small spaces as I prefer everything to be cozy and efficient.

How do you plan on powering your dream house? It sounds lovely btw.

Raven said...

Apartments around here do tend to include utilities, but I'm renting a house. I actually didn't really like living in places where utilities were paid since I had very little, if any, control over the heat. Studying while wearing full winter regalia sucked!

Hydro in Quebec is much better regulated and priced than in Ontario, so I understand what you mean about not wanting to move somewhere where you'd be at the mercy of the power company!

As for the dream house, I'm envisioning a combination of several things. I'd probably power the house with a combination of solar and wind power. I'd also have radiant heat throughout the house and use lots of windows with a southern exposure to get heat from the sun. The Plan changes every year as new materials and building techniques come about.