The price of crude oil keeps dropping -- closing at about $66 a barrel yesterday -- but not all of that decline has, or will, translate to lower prices for home heating oil this winter. After a July high of $4.71 a gallon, according to the Mass. Department of Energy Resources, it's now selling for an average of $3.14, just 31 cents higher than last year at this time.
Regardless, I'm still trying to keep my oil consumption as low as possible, which is good for the planet and my wallet. This morning the temperature bottomed out at 35 degrees F outside and the thermometer in my kitchen reads 65, but I have yet to turn up the thermostat from its summer resting place of all the way to the dial's left.
I am not about to stand around shivering, but so far -- with a sweatshirt or an LL Bean double-layered undershirt, which I wear around the house every winter -- I haven't felt the need to turn on the heat at all. I did make sure that my storm windows were all down as of last weekend, but I've taken no other precautions. I've read and heard from friends that many are trying to get to Nov. 1 without cranking the heat, but I have no benchmark. I'm just trying to be smart.