William Thien

Bringing the Price of Gasoline Down by Curbing Use of Electricity And Other Unrelated Fuel Sources

Posted on: August 9, 2014

So I’ve been kind of getting sick of these gas prices holding above $3 and often approaching $4 and $5 for the last six or seven years with no relief in sight and it occurs to me as it has to those of you who lived through the seventies I’m sure that there were measures we all took which in the end lowered the price of gasoline back to a reasonable level. OPEC as well as domestic oil producers were trying to squeeze every dollar they could out of the American household.

The measures that were taken not only involved driving by using certain methods such as trip chaining (doing all of your errands at one time instead of returning home after each one) and driving more conservatively (where I reside the governor was lauded for establishing a lower speed limit on the interstate), but the methods used to bring fuel prices down also involved curtailing the use of other forms of energy, such as the electricity you purchased from the local utility. And it worked.

And it was in fact the curbing of the use of other forms of energy it was believed that contributed the greatest to the lowering of the price of gasoline for automobiles. I don’t really know the exact explanation except that somehow the various sources of energy, oil, coal, natural gas, whatever, were able to somehow interlink their prices so that if the price of one went up, so did the prices of all of the others. It was a new form of economic charlatanism that the media force-fed the American public at the instruction of the special interests involved, big oil for instance, I’m sure.

And a national effort was created to lower the price of gasoline and all energy sources. That national effort involved taking certain steps in the home to curb the use of electricity and fuel. Perhaps if we revisit those methods, we can help to bring the price of gasoline back in line. Who knows? They may be cooking up some new line in the big oil PR departments for the media to spew to the public which will justify new price increases. Even municipalities got it on it. They started turning off streetlights in the very early hours of the morning and turning off streetlights in industrial areas where there was not traffic whatsoever. Municipalities also began installing low energy use lights throughout their cities and towns. It was a huge effort and it worked.

The first thing you must do is elect or designate an “Energy Cop” for the household. Usually both parents will split those responsibilities with such wise admonitions as, “SHUT THE DOOR! What do you think, we are heating the WHOLE PLANET!?” Or, “If you aren’t watching the television, turn it off or I’ll take away your TV privileges for the month.” These directions will come as loud, sometimes blaring, in-your-face warnings and are usually effective enough to gain compliance, but stricter measures are sure to follow if the offending party fails to comply.

Remember, make a list of what must be done to save energy and put it in an obvious place so everyone in the house can see it.

I will attempt to recall some of the methods we used in the seventies to bring the price of gasoline in line. First, create a plan and put it on paper in a place where everyone can see it, a list of rules for managing household energy. Put the list on the refrigerator or somewhere where everyone can see it and you can point to it if there is every a question in the house.

Put these on that list:

1. If you are not in a room, turn off the lights. The same holds true for a radio or television. Turn them off and read a book.

2. Turn off porch and landscaping lights by a certain time, such as 8pm. Stick to that time.

3. Use a shorter cycle on the dishwasher or clothes washer. Hang dry your laundry.

4. Buy plastic sheeting to use as added insulation during the winter months and place it over windows and other places where air leaks through from the outside. Separate areas of the house with added doors or cloth barriers in the winter to decrease air leakage. Contact your local insulation technician and have them do a review of the house where heat is escaping. They probably can lower your heating bills substantially by insulating areas you didn’t even think needed more insulation.

5. Don’t go in and out of the door frequently during periods of extreme cold or warmth so as not to tax the heating or air conditioning. This is an important measure and if you follow it, you will see your heating and air conditioning bills drop significantly. Why? Because you use a thermostat to regulate the room temperature and even slight temperature changes can activate it causing your heating or air conditioning to come on.

6. Keep your thermostat at or below 60 degrees in the winter and 72 in the summer.

7. Cool liquids by placing them in cool spaces in the home instead of filling up the refrigerator with them. It takes a substantial amount of energy to bring the temperature of a case of beverages down to 36 degrees when they have been sitting in the back seat of your car in the hot summer sun.

These are just some of the measures you can take to bring your electricity and heating costs down and by doing so it may help to bring the price of gasoline back to reasonable levels. It’s no guarantee. The media is complicit or perhaps ignorant of the big oil PR line in the abuse of the prices, I believe, so you will have to be alert to the media line which is coming straight from the producers. I’ve said there is nothing wrong with making a buck. And I believe that. But when it means sending families into debt as it does for many merely to drive to work, there is a problem. One way we can all address that problem then is to help out by using such measures as I’ve described.

When Americans began enacting these measures in the seventies, when they said it was only a matter of two or three years before all the oil would be gone (yes, they tried that line of BS on everyone and it worked! People were scared, lining up at gas stations for blocks and blocks. Now we see it was all a lie to which the media facilitated), Americans began to see the price of oil and other fuel sources go down.

There was no way for the producers to keep the prices up any longer because the amount of fuel used was actually being measured and reported and the amount used had plummeted. They could not say that demand had exceeded capacity any longer. Prices had to come down. They had to come down because that was the line they were using to drive prices up in the first place.

So if you want that new tennis racket or your kids need a new pair of shoes for school but you don’t have the scratch, just think of what you can do to change that and stop throwing it all away by putting your paycheck in your car or burning it up to heat the house.

Make the list, put it on the refrigerator, and hold everyone in the house to it. You are the “Energy Cop.”

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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1 Response to "Bringing the Price of Gasoline Down by Curbing Use of Electricity And Other Unrelated Fuel Sources"

Interesting article. I remember the 70’s where they said if gas went to 1.50 that it was cost effective to develop renewable’s and if cars could get over 20 miles per gallon we would have enough. I think we need to develop homes with better renewable’s like solar and ground cooling systems for homes. I’m in the Smart home and energy sector with smart appliances and devices. These devices let home consumers know what is being consumed and when by each device. They can then take advantage of cheaper power at different times. That is if their utility has “Time of Use (TOU) pricing. Consumers can then save money by behavior when power is cheaper.

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