Escape from oil

Facing tougher economic times, many people are looking for ways to decrease their dependence on petroleum products.

Using less, seeking alternatives

While heating oil prices on P.E.I.  — $0.869 per litre on Nov. 14 — look pretty good compared with their peak of $1.275 in July, it is worth remembering that current prices are about the same as much of last winter.

That sobering realization, along with tougher economic times, has many people wondering how they can save some money on home heating this year, and move away from reliance on oil, with its wildly fluctuating prices.

In this four-part series, Compass reporter Sara Fraser looks at both how you can save:

  • Get an eco-home energy audit.
  • Seal the "envelope" of the house.
  • Insulate, insulate, insulate!
  • Install programmable thermostats.
  • Tune up your furnace.

She also looks at how you can wean yourself off oil altogether:

  • Burn wood, pellets or alternative fuel.
  • Use the sun's power — passive solar, solar panels for hot water.
  • Use the earth's heat — geothermal heat system.
  • Generate electricity with a windmill.

Click on the links to the right to watch this video series.