Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Propane pricing...

Okay, so I tried to do my part to reduce my carbon footprint by shifting my heating source from pure propane to a mix of renewable energy and propane.

Last year I used over 800 gallons of propane. This year it was more like 250 which was due in part to better insulation, a warmer March, and renewable energy use.

The frustrating thing is that my unnamed propane supplier (hint: they are not located in a city)penalizes me for using less fuel. My latest bill from them for 50 gallons of propane shows a price of $3.55/gallon. According to NYSERDA, statewide pricing for propane is current $2.68/gallon and $2.93 in the North Country.

I can't help but feel that this is the same sort of circular logic developed by our friends at National Grid "Hey, it's great that you're saving the planet with your fancy CFL's and energy star appliances, but we've got bills to pay so your rates are going up 20%".

I've appealed to their customer service reps to bring my pricing back down in line with local averages, but I might be shopping for a new provider so if anyone has a propane supplier that they like let me know.

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What do you call a guy that buys the driveway of a condo complex (housing many elderly) at auction for $1,500 and then offers to sell it back to the condo owners for a small mark-up of 53,000%?

Bonus points: He's now blocked the condo driveway with concrete barriers.

Bonus point #2: He owns funeral home and has blocked the driveway used by many elderly residents of condo complex forcing them to walk further to their cars.

Full story here.

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I don't know all of the physical limitations of a train design like this (I assume the boarding car/departing car would cause some problem) and I sense that there are more than 5 people trying to get on a train at the average Chinese train station, but this is some pretty cool outside of the box thinking.

I'm sure one of the local rocket -- okay, train -- scientists in Watertown can fill me in on the feasibility of this design. Again, if you get the blog via email you need to go to http://www.grindstonefinancial.com/ to see the video.




Cheers!

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