With the Rising Costs of Household Utilities, Butane is a Real Blessing
This past winter with its frigid, well-below-average temperatures and heavy load of snow, gave Americans the country over a taste of the increased utility bills that are to become the new standard in the United States. This year saw the largest month-to-month increase in the cost of electricity in almost four years. The price has climbed 4.4% over the course of a year. Electricity rates are rising exponentially and are increasing at a much higher rate than gas rates. Households are spending an average of $300 more a year on electricity alone. The U.S. Department of Energy predicts that electricity prices will jump another 13% by 2020.
Why Are Utilities Costs Increasing?
The cost of electricity is on the rise because of increased concerns about the effects of burning fossil fuels on the environment and their role in the inevitable future of global climate change. As a result of environmental worries, many coal plants, which are the largest source of cheap power, are being shut down. Because there is not yet a viable, cheap, or equally effective alternative to producing energy using coal, electricity prices have shot up. During this lingering economic recession where jobs are scarce and wage increases are even scarcer, people are trying to limit their usage of electricity to save a little extra every month. The result of this, though, is that the price has increased as the demand has dropped so that households may end up paying even more for less electricity used. More vigilant and strict environmental regulations have placed increased rules and demands on producers of electricity, which have caused their operating costs to increase, producing a domino effect of increased costs.
How Can Homeowners Use Butane to Lower Their Utility Costs?
Although natural gas and its derivatives such as butane and propane only account for about 26% of U.S. power currently, its emissions are lower and thus not as harmful to the environment as those of coal. Unfortunately, a lack of pipelines and onsite storage constrain the supply and delivery of natural gas.
Luckily for homeowners, there are alternatives to using electric and natural gas heating. Butane is less expensive than many of these energy sources and is 12% more energy efficient than the similar natural gas derivative, propane, which many in the Northeast and Midwest use to heat their homes. Here are some ways that you can save on heating and cooking costs using butane.
- Butane-Fueled Cooking Stoves
- Cordless Space Heaters
- Low-Priced Summer Refills
Portable single-burner butane gas stoves cost as little as $20.00 from some online retailers, although stoves that are also suited for indoor use usually go for slightly higher. These burners are easy to use, burn cleanly and immediately, and bring you a well-cooked delicious meal for a fraction of the cost of installed burners. One butane canister, which costs as little as $3.50 a bottle, can last for several days when it is only used for light cooking. Unfortunately, some especially hard-hit families are using refilled butane canisters to power their stoves. This practice is not only illegal, but extremely dangerous, and we strongly discourage anyone from doing this.
Instead of blasting the electric, oil, or gas heater during those frigid winter nights, consider cuddling up with a mound of blankets and a portable butane-fueled space heater instead. This will save on overall costs and is adjustable if you get too hot or too cold during the night. Look for heaters that are made specifically for indoor use for safe and reliable heating. These heaters can be small fan-shaped heaters or more stylish and aesthetically pleasing mobile cabinet heaters. For less than $100, butane-fueled heaters are a great cost-cutting investment for toasty nights and warm evenings. Because they’re portable, they can be taken anywhere in the house, accompanying you throughout your daily activities.
One of the best aspects of using butane-powered heating and cooking is that you can stock up on butane in the summer months when its price plummets. Although extra heat is most likely the furthest thing from your mind when your sweaty hand is reaching to turn on the air conditioner, take this time to refill all of your reusable butane tanks and set aside extra space for storage. Besides, your main power supply could be compromised by either a winter or a summer storm, and you’ll be especially glad to have butane to fuel lanterns, stoves, and heaters when it’s the last option around.
In this tough economy, any money saved is money earned. If you have further questions about how butane can help you, talk to the experts at Butane Source. Our customer service team is ready to give you advice or help you to choose from among our wide selection of butane brands such as Colibri butane and Puretane.