Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock knows that rising energy prices have become a problem in recent years. But what exactly is causing this, and what can you do about it? Keep reading to find out.
The government’s response to the Covid-19 virus in 2020 sent shockwaves throughout the global economy. Around the world, federal agencies shut down businesses and schools while restricting travel, which caused a sharp drop in demand for energy. By early 2022, when countries began opening up their economies and allowing travel, this caused a sudden demand spike for the unprepared energy providers.
Russia’s War against Ukraine
Russia is a major energy producer and exporter, and much of the European Union’s energy comes from them. Research shows that the EU gets about 40 percent of natural gas and twenty-nine percent of oil from the Russians. In February of 2022, Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine. In response, the West placed sanctions on Russian energy exports. The invasion has led to skyrocketing energy prices in the EU since many of these countries don’t have adequate substitutes for Russian supplies.
The Biden Administration Is Sending SPR Reserves to China and India
Within the United States, higher energy costs are mainly the result of President Joe Biden’s decision to send SPR (Strategic Petroleum Reserves) to nations such as India and China rather than using it to lower prices domestically. Additionally, the Biden Administration is committed to a Green transition where they want to phase out carbon energy in favor of alternative energy sources such as wind, hydropower, and solar.
The problem is that much of the U.S. economy is still heavily dependent on fossil fuels. And because the nation already has a national debt of over $30 trillion, no funds are available to modify the infrastructure to enable alternative energy sources to be used on a large scale.
Those who live in the northern hemisphere need to stay as warm during winter. However, the cost required to keep the house warm is higher than cooling it, so below are some recommendations for staying warm when the temperature drops.
Due to national and international events beyond our control, it is best to expect higher energy prices for the foreseeable future. One of the best ways to keep your monthly utility bill as low as possible during winter is by using the following tips to heat a room.
Centralize Heating with an Efficient Coal Furnace
Coal furnaces are highly efficient due to their ingenious design and the fact they use anthracite coal. They feature a spiral heat exchanger that is full-sized within their combustion chamber. It will extract all the available heat via burned anthracite coal, which results in extremely low flue temperatures. Furnaces provide continual heat output, which keeps its ductwork warm and provides a balanced temperature with the fan running. The radiant heat from the furnace front will keep the surrounding area dry and warm.
Anthracite Coal Stoves and Anthracite Coal Boilers are also available. Depending on your homes current heating systems you may want to explore these options as well
Buying and installing a furnace will seem expensive initially. Do not worry. You will save in the long run—savings from not burning the skyrocketing oil or natural gas prices. Coal is 30% to 70% cheaper than oil, gas, or electric.
Insulate the Attic
If your home has an attic, insulating it is one of the smartest things you can do. This is because attics are one of the greatest contributors to heat loss. Remember that hot air rises while cold air stays near the ground, which means that insulated attics will trap the heat while a non-insulated attic won’t. It is possible to perform the insulation yourself if you have the time, inclination and materials.
Use a Space Heater
Space heaters are the perfect solution for situations where you just want to heat a single room. They are affordable, portable and will not take up much space. And while their usage will increase your energy bill, it will be much lower than central heating. Infrared heaters in particular are highly recommended as they heat rapidly and have an efficiency that is forty percent higher than other heating options.
Setup Dark Window Curtains
Did you know that dark window curtains can generate free heat, especially when they’re black in color? You’ll want to install them on windows that are sun facing, because when the rays strike the curtains, they will heat up, and since the curtains are inside, the heat will not escape and will in fact be reflected. It works similar to a greenhouse and will keep your room warm without raising your heating bill.
Purchase an Intelligent Thermostat
An intelligent thermostat is a device that automatically controls temperatures within your home. It will lower the temperature when the family is not present and increase it again after you return, maximizing efficiency and reducing your monthly power bill.
Use Your Electric Blanket
If you don’t already have an electric blanket, you’ll definitely want to get one. Heated blankets are more cost-effective than space heaters. Though they resemble standard blankets at first glance, they have heating elements that generate heat. The downside is that they will only heat you. Still, they require far less power than traditional heating systems, requiring 100 to 150W for their operation.
According to physics, cold air is denser than hot air. Therefore, cold air is heavier. The cold air that accumulates near the floor will make your feet cold. Installing a carpet will give your feet warmth without expending energy to boost the temperature. Carpet or rugs will also act as insulation.
Pay Utility Bills Using Your Credit Card
Suppose you use your credit card to pay your utility bill each month. In that case, some companies provide cash-back bonuses, which means you can begin putting money back into your pocket. While it isn’t much in the short term, it can turn into quite a sum over the long term.