There is no crystal ball we can look into to see the future of energy prices, but if history is any indication, you can be sure that prices for electricity, natural gas and home heating oil will continue to rise.
Energy companies are continuously researching to find new sources of the fossil fuels we’ve become so dependent upon. This means exploration, and that doesn’t come cheap – the cost of which is passed on to you and me, the consumers. The energy companies are constantly working to develop new technologies to make mining for coal, drilling for oil and harnessing natural gas supplies faster, safer for the employees, and less harmful to the environment. These new technologies also cost money – lots of it. Big business is not going to absorb these costs. It would make the stockholders very unhappy to see the bottom line shrink. So that means they have to pass the increase costs on to us, the consumer.
Emerging markets such as China will require huge amounts of fossil fuels to sustain their current rate of economic growth. As we’ve heard time and time again, the supply of these fossil fuels is finite. Their increased demand for these fuels means less supply for us. When demand goes up and supply goes down, prices rise. It’s simple economics. That means higher energy prices for you and me.
Now, you may ask: “what about renewable energy such as wind, solar and geothermal – won’t they cost less?” Eventually they may cost less, but that will be years down the road. The development of the technologies needed to harness these energies and bring them to market is literally in the infancy stage. It will take billions of dollars to research and develop the means necessary to reliably and efficiently deliver energy from these sources to the widespread market. And who do you think is going to pay for this R&D? You guessed it – we the consumers will be the ones footing the bill.
I’ve painted what appears to be a pretty bleak picture, but there are many things we can do to arm ourselves against the rising cost of energy for years to come. We can take public transportation, walk more and drive less, and/or drive more fuel-efficient vehicles. We can change our light bulbs to the more energy-efficient CFL bulbs. We can recycle. We can buy locally grown foods and American-made products. AND we can insulate our homes better to make them more energy efficient. Did you know that a properly insulated home could save you up to 40% on your heating bills? That’s HUGE!
Summer’s coming to a close and the cooler weather of Fall will soon be upon us. It’s time to put away the hammock and the lawn chairs, get out the rake and dust off the shovels and snow blowers to prepare for Winter. It’s also the perfect time to insulate your home and insulate your wallet from the high cost of heating bills. If you need some advice on the best way to tackle your insulation project, just give us a call. We’d love to hear about your project, help you save money, make your home more comfortable and energy efficient, and help you get it done right!