Everyone keeps talking about gas prices and how it’s not all that big a deal. What amazes me is that no one is talking about what this will do to heating oil this winter. My house is heated by oil and as a resident of New Jersey we have cold winters.
I can, and have, cut back on my driving. We now actively car pool with other family members and share the cost when traveling to visit each other. Driving is one of those things I can impact. What I can’t easily impact is heating my house in the winter. Last year the price had already sky-rocketed. We paid roughly 30% more this past year than we did the year before (and that was already significantly more than we made the year before that). That included turning the thermostat down to 67 degrees and walking around the house with an extra layer on and keeping blankets handy in the family room.
If prices stay where they are then we’ll pay 24% more this year than last year. If this keeps up we’ll be forced to move just to avoid heating bills. It’s one thing to see a 50% increase in things that don’t cost much but we’re talking thousands of dollars in this expense. Heating oil was expensive from the start when we moved into this house eight years ago.
The joke to me is that the news outlets keep talking about the pricing cycle. They try to tell us that the prices go up in spring and then down before going back up again in fall. First, that’s not true. I don’t recall ever seeing gas prices do that. They tended to stay about the same for years on end with slight increases here and there and spikes here and there. Now they go up in spring and up in fall. They don’t go down very much at all.