How will you handle the utility increases?

2005/10/06 20:18:52
What used to be a 600.00 electric bill is now a grand. The natural gas bill has gone up a smooth 150.00 and damned if I don't see don't see a friggin' hike in the water. I've already had to raise store prices because of the food costs going up. Guess I'll wait as long as I can to do it again because of the utilities.

This ain't good.
RE: How will you handle the utility increases? 2005/10/06 21:15:25
join the club, brother, join the club.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
RE: How will you handle the utility increases? 2005/10/06 21:44:52
I just had to pay $67 for my gas bill and $116 for my electric bill. I really hate that. Well, at least my electric bill will be going down in about a month when I turn off the air conditioner.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: How will you handle the utility increases? 2005/10/06 21:51:50
Current energy prices are not good for anyone and it is only going to get worse. It is not only your cost of doing business that will hammer you, it is also your customers that are getting hammered. They are seeing the same increases and will probably tighten their budget and drive less as well.

I don't know what can be done about electric as there are few alternatives for most people. The only possible option to save I can see is in heating and that is very nebulous at best. It may become a reasonable option to revisit the past and convert to coal, still very plentiful in the US and cheap. The cost of conversion may be prohibitive though. There is also the chance that natural gas may go down again but I doubt it. Also it has been about 50 years since I have seen a coal truck making a delivery so I doubt there is any infrastructure left for that option.

A glimmer of hope can be found in the past, the nation did survive the era of the Robber Barons in the late 19th century. We can only hope that the new Robber Barons will also be defeated.

Is history repeating itself? No, history never repeats itself as anyone serious about history knows. I repeat, history never repeats itself, but people do. Every time.

RE: How will you handle the utility increases? 2005/10/07 09:21:08
We use a coal stove for the main heat in our home here on Long Island. The house is a small (1500 sq ft) levitt style house, and we have a 65,000 btu gibralter stove installed in the living room. The stove is quite oversized for the house, and because of this, it keeps the whole house, including the two bedrooms upstairs, toasty warm all winter.
Coal is readily available here from at least three or four sources. We have a wood coal bin in the back yard, and at the start of the heating season (about a week from now) we have a two ton delivery made. Coal is running about $245 a ton, so our investment for the winter is about $500. We do have a fuel based hot water system in the house, which we keep on at a minimal setting of 55 degrees, just in case the coal stove goes out while we're away.
The only real drawback to this system is that the coal stove requires daily attention. Normally we have to bring in two buckets of coal every day to day and a half. The stove requires "shaking" periodically, and ash removal needs to be done twice a day. We have been very happy with the coal stove, but as we are getting a bit older, and are out of the house for days at a time on business, we are looking to swap the coal out for a pellet stove - but we're still in the discussion stages. There are advantages and disadvantages to both of these alternative fuels.
Bottom line is, however, that you DO have options if you're tired of being held hostage by the fuel oil and electric companies, but you h ave to be willing to do a little labor to make them work for you.
Double Cheeseburger
RE: How will you handle the utility increases? 2005/10/07 10:24:36
Slick, we all share the same problems whether homeowners or running a business. I am lucky that my electric costs have not gone up yet because I have a fixed cost until the end of the year. But it will on next years contract. Also, my gas bill won't go crazy until the heating season begins which has luckily been pushed back by the beautiful weather we have been enjoying. But they are talking about increases of at leat 50% for this winter.

What has really hurt my wallet is the rise in gasoline costs, and that directly affects your business, because the first thing to be cut from the family budget is dining out. We go out about once every 10 days compared to twice a week before gas went crazy.
RE: How will you handle the utility increases? 2005/10/08 19:12:24
The only way to overcome increased operational costs is to do more business.