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Have you been surprised by the increase in your gas bill?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on December 15, 2005

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Photo of Lois Schneider

“I haven’t seen many heating bills yet, but it seems like it goes up about 70 percent every year. I come to expect it.”

Photo of Kevin Halgren

“No. We knew this was going to happen for quite some time. We’re prepared for it - as much as you can be.”

Photo of Sheila Fields

“Yes. It was definitely more than I expected. I’m just going to have to deal with it, because I don’t want to be cold.”

Photo of Brendan Corazzin

“No, because my apartment only has electricity, but I was still surprised by the increase in my bill.”

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l_eustacy 12 years, 2 months ago

Sometimes I'll take an antiacid if I'm concerned about the extra gas. I'm not Bill either.

killjoy 12 years, 2 months ago

I'm working on developing an ethanol based on fruitcakes. Does Bill have gas?

italianprincess 12 years, 2 months ago

Mine went up from 53 to 107 for this months bill. I really don't want to know what next months bill is going to look like.

Oh the joy of giving your hard earned money away.

average 12 years, 2 months ago

It's worth the while to watch the rates at . Aquila posts their "PGA" for the month at the beginning of the month. Since December is back down to $.91 per therm (plus the commodity $.12 per therm, plus the $12 connection fee), I can watch the meter and know exactly how much I am paying per day. Compare that to how cold it is (degree*days) and what I have the thermostat at.

Well, I find it fun. [grin] Not surprised, at least

Anyway, I've got the thermostat to 60 night and worktime, 64 when we're around. Several rooms are shut off most of the time. Slightly under $100 for November usage, hopefully under $200 for December, unless we have another sub-zero spell.

Unfortunately, I do have a crystal ball. It's called the futures market. Gas is running at $1.40-$1.50 per therm on the market, so I know darned well that PGA will go up eventually.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 2 months ago

It depends. Define gas.

Won't you marry me, Bill? I got the wedding bell blues.

trinity 12 years, 2 months ago

is he just a bill on capital hill?

surprised, by the gas, bill? i'd say shocked is a much more accurate description.

seriously-i knew it would go up; just have to cut corners&plan ahead, and at least try to stave off the drafts in my ol' barn of a house.

neopolss 12 years, 2 months ago

Fruitcakes usually lead to an increase of gas, Bill.

I would suggest a diet of trap-door buffalo meat for a few days.

sweetpeagj 12 years, 2 months ago

I am not sure about the gas because I have moved from the area. Please..go to the editorials and read the social cost. I am so angry about how ignorant people are. Check it out..let me know what you think.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 2 months ago

But e_m, if I have a small gas, bill, I have everything.

Are you by chance really b_m?

I froze last winter because of fear of a high gas, bill. Not this year.

Redneckgal 12 years, 2 months ago

I wouldn't say surprised so much as po'd. I just love freezing my a** off and then still paying an outragous bill.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

My gas bill was $0 last month and this month it is $0. I suppose next month it will also be $0 since we don't even have a gas line that runs to the house. If you had asked about the electric bill...that would be different.

badger 12 years, 2 months ago

I developed a roundabout-based power source for my car to augment my fuel efficiency. I get 245 mpg in Lawrence, 30 anywhere else. I'm thinking of moving back, but the fruitcake here is so good...

I have electric heat. My heater has kicked on at least twice this week, so I expect the bill to be in the high 50s for the whole shebang.

I saw Bill the other day, and he said he was going to wander the town in search of a new place for the library. He's thinking that it should go out along the proposed SLT and be a state-of-the-art facility, so that literary environmentalists will spontaneously implode as they try to simultaneously advocate and protest themselves.

He'd make popcorn, but it gives him gas.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

I ate fruitcake last night before bed. I don't notice any increase in gas this morning but I can't be held accountable for what happens while I'm sleeping. The bed was extra toasty warm this morning. Maybe we have something here with the fruitcake.

harrierist 12 years, 2 months ago

We have used wood for years... with a blower that separates the smoke for the heat so how, and heats the whole house. In New Hamphire we have plenty of wood and it is cheaper than natural gas. We have solar heat panels for the day which heats warmer pipes that circulate to the basment and store hot water etc it might be 15 degrees out side but 72 in the house. We have a propane tank some yards a way from the house that we use for cooking. Our electicity comes from the area power plant, Now I imagine they use LP gas to fire their boiler burners.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

badger..high 50's? Are you kidding me? Let's swap bills!

badger 12 years, 2 months ago

Heavens, no, sunflower_sue. My heating bill and my average temperature are about the same, really. Today, I thought about a jacket but decided not to bother.

They tell me the AC bills in the summer will be twice that, if it makes you feel any better.

canyon_wren 12 years, 2 months ago

I expected my bill to be higher but I didn't expect that the gas company would claim I used 3 1/2 times the gas this past November that I used last year--especially since this November was so mild here in SE Utah and I didn't light the furnace till later than usual. Didn't even have to get out my winter clothes till a week ago. Something's rotten somewhere--and it's not just Bill's gas!

midwest_wingnut 12 years, 2 months ago

It's winter times that make me happy I live in the tiniest apartment known to man. Totally cheap to heat.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

Nope, doesn't make me feel any better:):)

badger 12 years, 2 months ago


You can call the gas company and ask them to reread your meter. They may have misread it. Also, ask if your gas usage was consistent with last November's usage, and if your October usage was consistent with last October's usage.

It's possible that they misread your meter in October, giving you a lower result for that month, and it corrected itself with this month's reading.

Just a note, though. A heater, in a month, can use anywhere from 12 to 20 mcf's (an mcf is a thousand cubic feet), while a water heater would only use 1-2, and a stove 3-5. If you just have a water heater, and turned the furnace on, say, the 20th of November, it's possible to have gone from 1-2 mcf's to 6-8, which would be a 3x usage. Most gas companies, if you ask, will be perfectly willing to explain where the numbers came from, and tell you whether or not they're reasonable.

Don't forget to change your furnace filters regularly, everyone!

canyon_wren 12 years, 2 months ago

badger-- I didn't check out the difference in October's bills and will do that. I did have them come and check for leaks but they didn't find any. I expected the bill to go up after I turned on the furnace and know that it uses a lot more--it's just that I didn't expect it to be different from other Novembers when I just turned it on. Thanks for your comments. Guess I shouldn't complain, as others are in 'way worse shape than I am.

nlf78 12 years, 2 months ago

In an effort to combat the $500 gas bill, I called up the gas company in September and requested a streamline payment. We pay $90/month and it allows us to stay warm (if you call 65 degrees warm) without worrying about having to get a second mortgage to cover the winter.

Liberty 12 years, 2 months ago

No, we have been well conditioned to accept it. Are you also ready for the "National Animal Identification System"? What, you haven't been conditioned for that one yet? Well, here is your first taste of it.

Brought to you by: 1. National Pork Producers, and Monsanto and Cargill Meat. 2. Manufacturers of high-tech animal/human ID trackers: Digital Angel, EZ-ID/AVID ID Systems, Micro Beef Technologies. They have lobbied the USDA for a nationwide all-livestock registration and tracking system. The NAIS will require two types of mandatory registration. Every person who owns even one horse, cow, pig, chicken, sheep, bird, or any animal must register their home with owners name, address, phone number and be keyed to Global positioning satellite coordinates. This will be kept on a federal database under a 7 digit code.

Then individual animal identification will require owners to obtain a 15 digit ID also kept in the federal database for any animal that leaves the place of it's birth. The owner is required to report the birthday of an animal, the ID of any animal that enters or leaves the property, or if the ID tag is lost or microchip tracker fails, if the tag is replaced, the slaughter or death of an animal, or if an animal is missing; all within 24 hours. The NAIS is designed to drive micro producers out of the market, and keep people from raising their own food. (This is the new slavery through high tech). This will also violate religious freedoms of individuals whose beliefs make it impossible for them to comply with such a total control system (and anyone who does not like to starve). The NAIS will make impossible economic burdens on small farmers, because of the cost burden of property and animal registration and administration.

Livestock animals are legally considered personal property. This is a first for the US government to conduct large-scale computer surveillance of its citizens because they own personal property. Will they want to monitor your couch as well? This system is planned to be implemented and mandatory on Jan. 1, 2008. This date could be moved up though... So higher gas prices are really not too shocking.

Redneckgal 12 years, 2 months ago

Okay Liberty. That is just plain scary.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 2 months ago

surprised...I'm afraid the OTS question has fallen back to the bad-ol'-days.

"wow, that slug crawling across my wet basement floor REALLY SURPRISED ME!"


animal registration, not good!

who plays "Bill" in the movies?

Liberty 12 years, 2 months ago

If you want to read the full article on this for more details, get a magazine called Countryside and small stock Journal. Volume 90 number 1 January/February 2006 issue. They have a detailed article on this and other things of interest.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

Liberty, I have to say that I think you are being an alarmist. Personally, if they find "mad cow" disease in our meat supply, I want to know darn well where that cow came from. If you care to know more without the "the sky is falling slant":

badger 12 years, 2 months ago

Piffle on putting tags in the animals.

I think that every package of meat I buy should have a picture of the exact animal it came from, in full color, so that I can give it a name, and prop it up on the dinner table and have it watch us as we cook and devour its flesh. Ground meat should have a little pamphlet of all the likely cows.

These pictures should strive to make the animal as cute as possible, which will make it more fun to eat.

The babies of the species are tastiest. Tonight, I have lamb and couscous leftovers with crushed tomatoes and green beans.

Mmmmm, animal children.

I'm not Bill, but I invited him over for dinner.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

Liberty, please get your facts correct before spewing them. Re-reading your post, I found several blatantly false statements. Just to clear some things up:

This plan is not at all designed to drive micro-producers out of the market.

This plan does not keep you from raising your own food.

This plan doesn't even require you to "tag" your animals if you are only raising them for your own consumption.

Violates religious freedoms? What the he!! are you talking about?

You're trying to tie this into "tagging" all of our personal property? Once again, what the he!! are you talking about?

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

badger, My daughters were fortunate enough to witness the birth of a baby goat. Such a miracle to see, especially when they usually give birth during the middle of the night. He was a big one with a leg folded back so I did a lot of pulling. After he plopped out, I turned him over to check the sex. I made the mistake of saying "Well, he's a boy. I guess we'll name him Dinner." My girls ran crying all the way home. Didn't stop them from eating him, though. I marinated the backstrap in a greek concoction with lots of onion and garlic. He was delicious!!! (The girls also thought he was some of the best meat they'd ever tasted. And, yes, they knew they were eating Dinner.)

ms_canada 12 years, 2 months ago

Now see hear, my pudding does not give gas, Bill or Bob or Jack or Mary or Sue. Definitely not. I am affronted, to be sure.

beatrice 12 years, 2 months ago

Without knowing anything about farms or farm animals -- here is my two cents: I suspect the idea of tracking animals raised for mass consumption isn't such a terrible thing when you consider how quickly food-related diseases can spread. If it is known where the cows were raised that made a town start bleeding from the eyes a week after eating burgers laced with eye-bleeding disease, that would be a good thing. Or if the people from this same, unfortunate but fictional town all perish from bird-flu or poisoned honey made from killer bees, again the idea of trying to put a lid on it before it spreads to other towns -- or to YOUR town -- again, not a bad thing. And if you eat any of this tracking material implanted into the animal, even on a microscopic level, then you just become part of the Matrix.

David Carradine as Bill has been done. We need a new Bill. Maybe we can get Prof. Mericki (sp?) to be Bill -- that way we can feel good about him getting beat up. You see, those weren't thugs coming from the bully pulpit, they were anarchists and liberals fighting the big power companies for affordable heating.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

What Ms_C said about her pudding is correct. If you remember, she burns off the gas just before serving by touching it with a match.:):) Couldn't resist!

average 12 years, 2 months ago

off to the -->,

Closing off registers might be a problem if it creates some resistance pressure to air moving through. Might not cool down the furnace innards enough (more of a problem with central A/Cs freezing up).

Shutting off a room without a register shouldn't make any effect. Besides, it's not like there's a 'design' to the system where I live. Coal-fired steam was the 'design', and the forced-air is shoehorned in.

trinity 12 years, 2 months ago

badger i'd bet hannibal loved your post, and has already taken your suggestions as per HIS favorite animals! ;)

those UPC codes on cows and other animals will be quite adorable i'm sure eyeroll here

ms_canada 12 years, 2 months ago

My house is a rather long house, 1 story with a basement. The furnace is at the back of the house under the two back bedrooms. They get very warm and the living room at the front has a high ceiling and cathedral window and is very chilly. A really stupid design for a house in this cold climate. I partially close the registers in the two back rooms and this works ok.
But if you are going to close a register in any room, you must close the door also or you save nothing, that room will just draw heat from the rest of the house. We have been fortunate so far this winter as it is not at all cold. We just have to put on the long woolies if we want to save on the gas. Trouble is the cat will not tolerate the long woolies. :o)

Staci Dark Simpson 12 years, 2 months ago

My bill was 38 bucks. We bought a house with a big outdoor woodstove that works like a boiler system. We have went through a lot of wood but we enjoy cutting it especially thinking we can turn up the thermostat as high as we want and it doesn't cost anymore. I would be crying if I didn't have that wood stove. Uma kicked Bills a$$!

Purell 12 years, 2 months ago

This question is about "gas"

Huh-huh huh-huh-huh

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

Ms_C, I'd pay good money to see your cat in long woolies! :O)

ms_canada 12 years, 2 months ago

sunflower sue - would you pay good money to see my cat in a red and white hat with a Canadian flag on the front? Oh and BTW - thank you so much for pointing out the finer points of serving a pudding. There are some that might not have remembered that it is necessary to burn off the gas before serving.

Linda Endicott 12 years, 2 months ago

"It's winter times that make me happy I live in the tiniest apartment known to man. Totally cheap to heat."

Midwest, Are you sure? I thought I lived in the tiniest apartment...maybe we should compare size...ha.

Of course, my apartment is in this old, old house that has no insulation and has more drafts than the army during Vietnam...definitely not cheap to heat...but the bills haven't been too bad so far...then again, I'm freezing my butt off, too...I'm afraid to actually keep warm...only time I'm comfortable is when I'm in bed snuggled under all the covers...

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

Ms_C, Before dressing the cat, put on some leather gloves. I once tried to bathe a cat. Notice, I said ONCE!

badger 12 years, 2 months ago

I am in a split-level apartment with the open loft-style bedroom on the upper floor - where the thermostat lives. The first night, I was toasty warm in my bed, but when I went downstairs I could almost see my breath. All the heat had come up, and so the thermostat thought my whole place was toasty warm.

I closed my top floor vent (there was just one) and opened up all the bottom floor ones. It works fine; I imagine I'll just reverse it when I need the AC. The hard part will be next February when I start needing the heater at night and the AC during the day.

killjoy 12 years, 2 months ago


Is eggnog part of the dressing the cat and if so which one drinks it?

classclown 12 years, 2 months ago

I am simply amazed that people in this state actually eat that stuff. Everywhere else in the world it's used as a gag gift. Like the clapper or chia pet. Although fruitcake has been around longer. The gag gift of our forefathers.

heretoday 12 years, 2 months ago

Has anyone who posts here been asked an OTS question in town? I wonder if so....if suggestions could be made.

beatrice 12 years, 2 months ago

sun_sue: "I once tried to bathe a cat. Notice, I said ONCE!" I hate bathing my cats -- I can't stand the way the fur sticks to my tongue. : )

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

bea, good one! LOL!

I wonder...would "cat dressing" go well with turkey?

bearded_gnome 12 years, 2 months ago

wow, this board is full of hot air and gas today!

just to clarify, in my post of the morning: I do not have a basement, or a slug...they were alegorical.

and, if you do not know what alegory is, then as a favorite TV personality says: "EDUCATE YOUR BUT!"

bearded_gnome 12 years, 2 months ago

I would also like to ad that RE the crime [robbing the bank}, my beard is nowhere near that color, and Sunshine, Tiffany, or Bambi would not mistake me for "seventy" years old. thank you.!

fellow gives bearded people a bad name.

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