October 11, 2005

HIT THEM WITH TAXES WHILE THEY'RE PSYCHOLOGICALLY PREPARED:

Fearing Heat Costs, Many Take Preventive Action (PAM BELLUCK and SARAH KERSHAW, 10/11/05, NY Times)

People who heat their homes with natural gas will pay an average of 46 percent more this winter, with costs in some regions, like the Midwest, expected to be as high as 71 percent more, according to forecasts issued last month by the Department of Energy. Heating oil costs are expected to go up an average of 31 percent. And those figures were released before Hurricane Katrina made the situation worse.

Now, people across the country, as well as state and local governments and school districts, are scrambling to respond. Some are turning away from gas and oil, buying wood stoves, wood-pellet stoves, even corn-burning stoves. Others are replacing windows, buying carpets, adding insulation. Some are rushing to invest in alternative energies like solar, geothermal or biodiesel. And many are tightening their budgets.

"We're going to rob Peter to pay Paul," said Steven Posey, 37, an executive recruiter from Glenwood, Ill. Mr. Posey's family usually goes to Disney World or some other southern vacation spot in January, but not this winter. He and his wife, who have a 7-year-old son and a newborn girl, also said they would not give each other Christmas gifts and would cut nonessentials like their cable television package and video rental membership.

"When it comes down to it," Mr. Posey said, "we'll pay our heat, but something else is going to go unpaid."

That is not to say that everyone is in a fuel frenzy. Energy Department officials say fuel prices shot up because of Hurricane Katrina but will eventually come down. Some people, though, are changing energy sources because the sluggish response to the hurricane has raised questions about whether they can rely on things like oil and gas in an emergency.


Posted by Orrin Judd at October 11, 2005 1:33 PM
Comments

deja vu, the 1970's return.

Posted by: jdkelly at October 11, 2005 1:50 PM

What?!?!?! Do you mean to tell me that somewhere, some American family is going to have to cancel HBO and not take their annual trip to Disney World, all because of heating bills? This is an outrage! It's the Great Depression all over again! Curse you, Mr. Bush!

Posted by: b at October 11, 2005 3:00 PM

An executive recruiter has to give up a winter vacation to Disneyworld, cable, videos and Christmas presents because his heating costs went up 30-70%. I don't think so.

Posted by: Peter B at October 11, 2005 3:58 PM

NICOR sent me a letter and raised by Budget Bill amount from $175 to $225 per month. THE HORROR!!!

I guess to pay that, we'll have to cut out......hmmm, I guess we won't have to cut out anything.

Posted by: ray at October 11, 2005 10:06 PM

An executive recruiter has to give up a winter vacation to Disneyworld, cable, videos and Christmas presents because his heating costs went up 30-70%. I don't think so.

Maybe they're heating 10,000' sq., and are expecting to pay $ 1000/mo.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 11, 2005 10:23 PM
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