Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Fearing Heat Costs, Many Take Preventive Action




By PAM BELLUCK and SARAH KERSHAW
Published: October 11, 2005, NY Times.




"People who heat their homes with natural gas will pay an average of 46 percent more this winter, with costs in some regions, like the Midwest, expected to be as high as 71 percent more, according to forecasts issued last month by the Department of Energy. Heating oil costs are expected to go up an average of 31 percent. And those figures were released before Hurricane Katrina made the situation worse.

Now, people across the country, as well as state and local governments and school districts, are scrambling to respond. Some are turning away from gas and oil, buying wood stoves, wood-pellet stoves, even corn-burning stoves. Others are replacing windows, buying carpets, adding insulation. Some are rushing to invest in alternative energies like solar, geothermal or biodiesel. And many are tightening their budgets."

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