It is that time of year where expenses can be high. You might have racked up some bills over Christmas or perhaps you have reduced hours at work and are just on a tighter budget in general.
With the winter comes higher heating costs and there are a few suggestions I can offer that may help.
1) Call BC Hydro and ask them to put you on the equal payment plan. With this program they look at the hydro costs for your property over the last year, they break that down into a monthly payment and at the end of the year you either pay the difference or are credited the difference. This is a great way to know exactly what your hydro expense will be every month. The average hydro bill for most homes is around $120/month give or take depending on the size and energy efficiency of the home. Paying $120/month beats paying a $600 bill for January and February.
2) Consider installing programmable thermostats so you can be sure to keep your temperature down at night while sleeping or while away from the house. If you are renting your landlord may be willing to invest in this upgrade to the house.
3) If you are not able to upgrade your windows then you can buy kits which cover them in plastic to assist in being more energy efficient. As a tenant you may want to consider doing this to help reduce your heating costs for older homes.
If you are a homeowner there are many energy efficient upgrades that you can make to your home and perhaps it needs to be gradual rather than incurring the cost all at once.
We have no natural gas on Pender so many homes are heated with baseboard heating. Some have electric furnaces or heat pumps and there are a few that use oil or propane.