We have a duel fuel system for our hot-water heating system in our home. We use a combination of an oil boiler and an electric boiler to heat our home. The electric boiler is actually controlled by our power company. During peak times, they can shut it off. This causes our back-up system, the oil boiler, to kick in. By operating our heating system this way, we save about $150/month on our heating bill (compared to just running the oil boiler). We keep our home at a constant 68 degrees because we have babies in the house, and to be quite honest, I am just too crabby if I’m cold.
I had the oil tank filled for the first (and hopefully, ONLY) time this winter. YIKES! At $3.51/gallon, I spent $640. The cost of oil is up more than $1/gallon from last year. Fortunately, my oil company gives you a discount if you pay in full within five days of filling, so I did save $9. (whoopee).
I am very grateful that we put in the electric boiler last year. When we had it installed, I estimated it would take about 4 years to pay for itself. With oil prices as high as they are, I know it will pay for itself even sooner. I really sympathize with families who rely solely on oil or gas for heat, because I know what a giant crimp in the budget this year’s oil purchase has been for us. The only thing you can really do is turn down your thermostats, put on a sweater, and make sure your home is weatherized.