[Content Notes: winter, home energy bills, HEAP, seasonal affective disorder, keeping poor people poor]
. Even if you’re not trying to figure out how to cut heating bills, it’s fascinating to read about people living in a cold house on purpose.
I am a winter hater. As I mentioned on my last post, I have a hard time with winter . Part of this has to do with seasonal affective disorder. The other part is just that I hate being cold . HATE. Loathe .Despise.
I’ve spent the last month trying to make our 1825 rented homestead as winterproof as possible. Just when I think I have all the cracks and holes stuffed or plasticked over or covered with an old blanket, a strong wind will blow outside and I’ll feel another area that needs attending to. There are drafty spots where I clearly feel air blowing at interior walls even. Maybe a freemason built this house and behind the walls are hidden chambers for masonic rituals. Not cool, imaginary freemason dude. It’s hella cold in this house.
BUT only when the wind blows. Otherwise, the woodstove keeps the house pretty toasty.
Back in September, we found out that we would have to heat only with the woodstove and it has literally taken us this long to get organized enough to get a supply of wood. Remember how we were told we could not get HEAP for wood? That was not technically true. If there is no other source of heat in the house, you can use HEAP for wood. But that doesn’t mean it was easy to use HEAP for wood either. (disclaimer: this is my experience here. Elsewhere it might be different)
First we were given a list of wood vendors who accept HEAP. It is fairly easy for someone who sells wood to accept HEAP but not everyone does it. Calling through the list was frustrating. I’d either hear that they didn’t have wood, they have wood but not seasoned, they have wood but they won’t deliver… or if they would deliver, we were out of their delivery range and wanted to charge quite a bit. Then I found, “Yes, we have wood and we’ll deliver but it’ll be a bazillion dollars for less than a cord of wood.
FYI: Less than a cord of wood isn’t going to get us far in NY winter. Also, less than a cord of wood should not cost a bazillion dollars. Interestingly, if I checked this company’s wood prices for non-HEAP customers, they were way less than a bazillion dollars. Clear price gouging to low income folks. Nice job,guys.
(No, it wasn’t really a bazillion dollars but might as well have been)
Basically,there’s a certain amount we’re granted for HEAP and if we had gone with one of these wood vendors, they would have taken our entire HEAP benefit and given us very little wood.
So, we decided to have our HEAP applied to our electric bill (we have one bedroom in the house that is kind of separated from everything else and stays cold, so we’re using an electric space heater in there and also in the dining room because it’s actually an enclosed porch ) and found a local guy on craigslist who just sells wood as a hobby. $150 for 2 face cord. Delivered. It will last for a bit before we need to hunt down someone else with wood.
I’ll also be really honest here and tell you that I have an inner 12 year old who could not help but find it hilarious every time I had to ask a guy over the phone if he had wood and if yes, could he deliver. Ok,maybe not hilarious but amusing. I was amused. It’s the little things that help me through.
Also, an acquaintance who lives in the area has been trying to clear trees from his property to make an actual yard and do landscaping. He offered it to us for free as long as we could haul it away. Some of it’s still green and needs to season but it’ll be a good source.
Our cute little 2 door car wishes it were a rough and tough pick-up truck so we do everything we can to make it’s dreams come true. We can cram quite a few logs in there with the back seat down.
The good news is that I’m not AS nervous about winter as I was back in September.We aren’t going to freeze. High five to the man with wood who could deliver.