27 Gallons of Oil for 5+ Months

When I got back home from work last night, there was a heating oil bill waiting for me. The first of this season.

However, what really surprised me wasn’t the unit price at $2.459/gallon, but the volume for the latest fill-up.

27 gallons! Yes, 27 gallons!

I couldn’t believe the number when I saw the bill and it seemed as if the previous delivery was last month. But when I pulled out the record, I was almost shocked. The last delivery wasn’t in September, but in May! That’s more than five months and we only used 27 gallons? True the past five months were summer times and the oil was only for hot water, not heating, but still 27-gallon was a unbelievably small number.

Anyway, as I went through the record, I also calculated how much we spent last heating season. The first delivery of last winter was on November 9th, 2005 and the price as $2.479/gallon only 2 cents above what we got yesterday, thanks to the sharp decline of oil prices in recent months. For that delivery, we paid $162.74 total. Then we had another one on January 2nd, 2006, for $2.549/gallon and total $361.36. The last was on February 23rd, 2006, for $2.499/gallon and total $339.19. All together, we only spent $863.29 on heating oil last winter which wasn’t bad at all. Actually, there were a couple of factors that I think helped us lowering the bill:

  • Use programmable thermostat to control the temperature: Since nobody is at home from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, I set the temperature at 60 degrees when we leave home in the morning and at 5:30 pm, the heat will be turned on and remains on until the temperature reaches 68 degrees. From 10:00 pm to 6:30 am, I set the thermostat at 62 degrees and the heat is on again when we wake up in the morning at 6:30 with the temperature set at 68 degrees.
  • In the weekend, if we leave home for several hours, I use the Temporary feature on the thermostat to overwrite the programmed settings so the heat won’t be on all the time when we are not at home.
  • Use a radiator in the bedroom. We have a Delonghi oil radiator in our bedroom and it is on throughout the night, from 9:00 pm to 6:30 am, so I can set temperature else where at 62 degrees, reducing the use of heating oil.

For more winter energy saving tips, click here.

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3 Responses to “27 Gallons of Oil for 5+ Months”

  1. Frugal Frugalson |  Oct 27, 2006 at 3:41 pm

    Wow, 27 gallons since May is impressive. I just got my first heating oil delivery since June 1st two days ago, and was pleased that we only used 88.5 gallons during that time.

    We use about 500 gallons of oil per year, and I have programmable thermostats and a cold family with purple lips! :) At least I paid “only” $2.09 per gallon for my last delivery…