It's not about the house.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Gimme Swelter

I read a thing in the paper the other day where a person was complaining that his landlord wouldn’t do anything about his $300/month heating bill. I snuffed at that and chalked it up to innocence, but then I was reading a book this morning (a very funny book, by the way, which conforms to my rules, called Julie and Julia) and the writer found a $200/month heating bill shocking – in New York, of all places.

So I totted up my season’s-worth of oil payments. I guess I was feeling a little too secure, what with the fact that the furnace has held through the winter after all, and none of us have perished from the chimney fumes.

But as it turned out, actually, it was much less than I’d feared. When you have to get deliveries two times a week there are an awful lot of bills to total up, and the stack itself was enough to send me through conniption fits. The number I came up with, though, was frankly underwhelming.

Ready?

$2448.30

Underwhelming? I don’t know. I thought so at first. But then I started walking backward in my mind…

I didn’t turn on the heat until November 1st, and it’s not yet April. So that’s 150 days we’re talking about. In other words, five hundred bucks a month.

Still, that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? I mean, I had a one-room studio back in the ’90s where I paid upwards of $300 for electric baseboard heat. And that was back then, before fuel went all '70s on us. Of course, I’ve long-since realized I was getting screwed on that one, too…

Besides, this was a record-setting mild winter. It was 50 degrees here (in Boston) until mid-January, and probably at least a quarter of the time since then. I've kept the heat set at a moderate 66 when it was very cold outside, and turned it down to 64 at other times. I had to chase Johnny around most evenings trying to pull a sweater over his head, but the automatic thermostat came in handy then – when he’d duck me and crank it up it would unobtrusively crank itself back down.

So. Twenty-five hundred dollars? Yuck.

See, this is why I’ve been trying to get Keyspan on the phone…

1 comment:

Courtney R. said...

Julie and Julia was delightful, no?

And I don't know-- $500/month sounds pretty scary to me.