This is the wallet kind of ouch.
We live in an old house. The appliances are new and it's been well maintained, but it was built in the 1940s: it's heated by oil, and not well insulated. I knew that would mean an expensive winter, but no one could tell me even approximately what kind of expense we were getting into. Our landlord lived here briefly, and he showed us his old heating bills, but the price of heating oil has changed a lot since then, and he wasn't working at home. In any case, even if we had known the exact figures, we still would have taken the house, so it barely matters.
Three weeks ago when we came home from our little Thanksgiving trip, there was a receipt in the mailbox informing us that the oil tank had been filled in our absence. That alone, however, is meaningless. The real test is how long that tank lasts.
Well, two days ago I was shocked to see the oil truck pull up again. Three weeks?? That fill-up lasted only three weeks? Gulp. The plastic has been on the windows only one week, so perhaps this oil delivery doesn't reflect that yet. Plus, some of those windows were only shut on the inside, and were seriously drafty - and now that's fixed. Will this make a big difference? We hope so.
We've also lowered the thermostat by one degree, and I'm using a space-heater near my desk. (I bought the heater for Allan when he still lived in Vermont! We used to jokingly call it "the fireplace". Who knew I'd be glad we kept it all these years?)
I don't know if there's anything else we can do? If not, this is going to be a very expensive winter. Oh well. I'm grateful we can afford it and are in no danger of actually freezing, like so many poor and elderly people in the US. But: ouch!