Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Heating Costs Affect Different Places to Different Degrees

From Forbes, I found an article that digs into the regional differences of home heating economics. It’s the kind of analysis that economists use to forecast the effects of energy price changes on regional employment rates and other measures of economic performance, but the Forbes story attempts to explain it in non-technical, journalistic terms:

What It Will Cost to Heat Your Home

It is mainly the northeastern states where oil is heavily used for home heating, and it is here that rising oil prices will force us to adjust our heating strategies in the near future. Other energy prices could go up too, but oil is likely to go up first and fastest.

The obvious answer is to have everyone who uses oil switch to natural gas and electricity. Maybe that’s too obvious, because there could be a shortages if everyone switched at once. Ultimately, we need to use less energy for heat, which basically means better insulation, and find new sources of energy that we can deliver to homes for this purpose.