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March 07, 2006


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How are natural gas prices set in the US? Are you paying spot rates?

Here in Ontario, natural gas rates are set once every three months. The rate for the current quarter was set back in Nov. when prices were soaring.

The good news is natural gas spot prices have plummetted and are now trading at one year lows. The bad news for us is we have to wait till April to start paying the lower rates.

I feel your pain but let me tell you what's worse: having a newborn baby at home during the spike in heating prices. I consider myself pretty well-informed when it comes to personal finance but I was caught off-guard the bump in energy usage that accompany a newborn baby. More clothes to wash and dry and the house is now occupied all day and night by a fretful new mother who worries about it being "too cold for the baby". Ouch indeed!

You need a woodstove. By running our woodstove almost full tilt, we've not only cut gas usage by nearly half, we've managed to cut our gas bill this year in spite of much higher gas prices. A post describing the savings is at

And remember, wood warms you twice. Once when you cut, section, split, and move it, and once when you burn it.

I have had several arguments with my significant other about heating bills. We had one that was $160 and I wasn't too happy with that. She is very cold sensitive and can't stand the cold. Over the past several months we haven't been using heat at night and have managed to cut our bill down to $60. Now everytime when I want to go out for sushi, she says "Let's eat at home and save money. I would rather have heat at night than eat sushi!" LOL!

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