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Last week, when the temperature here in Rockland, Maine never topped 8°, we ran out of propane at the office.
Yes. We’re painfully aware of the irony: Energy efficiency company employees huddled around individual electric heaters, willing the thermostat to creep up to somewhere near comfortable.
It’s so ridiculous that we were tempted to keep it quiet, but here’s the thing: running out of fuel isn’t just frustrating – it’s dangerous. That’s why Evergreen urges every one of you to advocate for your own heat this winter. Here are some tips:
- Keep tabs on your fuel supply, even if you receive automatic deliveries. Fuel companies factor in outside temperature and your usage history to estimate when you’ll be running low, but if you know how full your tank is, you can help your fuel provider keep up.
- Give your fuel provider plenty of time to deliver. Fuel companies are facing a host of challenges this winter. The extreme cold temperatures and storms that make deliveries crucial (and more frequently necessary) for customers can make them dangerous and time-consuming for drivers. Calling before you run out is crucial for you both.
- Be prepared to wait – especially if you heat with propane. In addition to the weather-related delivery challenges, propane providers are facing supply shortages. Foreign markets, which pay considerably more for propane, are monopolizing the worldwide supply, and 95% of the propane that does come to Maine arrives by rail. That route was complicated by July’s deadly rail disaster in Lac-Megantic, Quebec,further tightening the supply.
- Reduce your demand with energy efficiency improvements. Without a doubt, delivery delays are hardest on homeowners who have to weather them frequently. Improving your home’s energy efficiency with targeted air sealing, insulation, basement treatments, and more will stretch the weeks between fuel deliveries, saving you money and worry.