Otherwise known as propane, which is at the forefront of my mind today. The Ruddy Beast originally had a HUGE oil furnace that was manufactured in 1945. It saw us through the first winter (failing often and requiring $400 fill ups even more often), and it was the first thing to go when summer rolled around. We replaced it with a hybrid heat pump/furnace system. The pump cools the house in summer and heats the house in winter, but it only works down to about 2C. After that we rely on the 96% efficient propane furnace. Last winter our 150 gallon tank got filled about once a month, but over the past week we have using 5% or more of its capacity daily. As of yesterday morning we were down to 15%. The truck is scheduled to come tomorrow if it can make it up The Hill* safely.
The topographical reliefs show how Farcical Farm sits on a plateau in the Fraser River valley, and the picture shows the location from below. Although it appears puny compared to its surrounding, I assure you that The Hill is steep. Some of the big 4X4 trucks can fight their way up when it is covered in snow, but a sheer drop to the west makes it treacherous for vehicles like the Red Menace and the propane truck. The Hill did get plowed, sanded and salted after last night's heavy snow, but we have the heat in the house down to 15C just in case it snows again tonight. Thank goodness for the electric mattress pad! I think we'll be investing in a larger tank next summer.
*Any time that residents of the Deroche plateau gather The Hill is guaranteed to come up in conversation. People hate it because it was poorly built on an unsuitable grade and it's falling apart. But people love it because its poor condition guarantees that the two 20+ acre properties for sale on the plateau cannot be developed (it simply would not support sustained movement of heavy equipment). It is currently scheduled to be rebuilt during the summer of 2010, but we all know that's subject to change.