N E W S   R E L E A S E 


Rhoads Energy statistic reveals savings windfall for Central Pennsylvanians

 LANCASTER, PA   — What if someone gave you an extra $2,000 this year? How would you spend it?

Whether they know it or not, that’s a decision thousands of families in our region have to make — right now. They’re reaping what Rhoads Energy calls the Energy Dividend — hundreds of dollars in savings from smaller heating bills, lower gas prices and milder winter temperatures.

Rhoads Energy calculated that, in Central Pennsylvania, the Energy Dividend will result in a windfall of $1,975 for the average oilheat household and $1,875 for the average propane-heated household. The average natural gas household will save $1,100.

News reports indicate that lower energy costs have saved our nation hundreds of billions, but it’s difficult to determine what that might mean for a single family. That’s why Rhoads Energy created the Energy Dividend:  a concrete figure that enables area consumers to consider their real savings — and how to use them.

“We think the Energy Dividend is a real eye-opener for homeowners,” said Michael DeBerdine, CEO of Rhoads Energy. “By giving folks a clear idea of the actual dollar amounts involved, we hope they’ll make sound financial decisions on how to spend a significant windfall.”

Reinvesting the Energy Dividend

When a family gets a tax-refund check for several thousand dollars, they think long and hard about how to use it. But when that kind of money is hidden in month-after-month savings, consumers may be more likely to spend it on shopping, dining out or — in times of low gas prices — a new car. In fact, sales of gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs have already risen in recent months.

DeBerdine notes that, given past fluctuations in energy prices, families should consider applying their “energy dividend” toward investments that lower their energy costs for years to come:

  • Seek (much) higher efficiency    Why limit savings to a single year? Replacing an old heating system with today’s technology can cut heating bills by 40% or more — ever single winter. If you have an older unit, it makes sense to get an estimate on a replacement— and how much you can save.
  • Protect your system, save money    Consider enrolling in service contracts for your heating and cooling systems that include annual maintenance.  Routine tune-ups can boost efficiency by 10% or more, and can extend the life of some heating systems by up to 50%.
  • Make changes at home   Perform a basic review of your home’s energy performance, or get a professional energy audit. Adding insulation, sealing ducts, and closing gaps around doors and windows can result in significant savings.

“Every family has different financial priorities,” DeBerdine notes, “but an investment in efficiency can drive down your energy bills year after year. We all need to remember that this year’s Energy Dividend won’t last forever.”

In fact, the U.S. Energy Information Agency already predicts that, by 2016, gasoline prices could jump back to $2.72 per gallon, and crude oil could rise to $75/barrel — up from less than $50/barrel as of this writing.

Crunching the numbers

Here’s how Rhoads Energy calculated the Energy Dividend for the average area family by adding the gasoline savings to savings related to their heating fuel. Note that families with larger homes to heat or more drivers would save even more:

  • The average two-driver family in our area logs approximately 15,000 miles per year, which requires 750 gallons of gas at 20 miles per gallon. In our area, gas prices are down between $1.00 and $1.30/gallon since one year ago. Total annual savings = $750-975 per year.
  • The average oilheat home in Central Pennsylvania uses approximately 800 gallons of fuel each winter. Since last February, heating oil costs are down $1.35 per gallon. Total annual savings = approximately $1,000.
  • The average propane-heated home uses approximately 800 gallons of fuel each winter.
  • Propane costs have fallen $1.10 since last winter. Total annual savings = approximately $900.
  • The average natural gas home spent approximately $1,300 last year, but will spend 8.1% less this year. Total annual savings = $105.30.

(Sources:  Rhoads Energy, AAA, U.S. Energy Information Administration)

About Rhoads Energy    Founded in 1917, when Jerome H. Rhoads sold kerosene from the back of a rail car, Rhoads Energy has grown into a major regional energy provider. Today, the company offers heating oil, natural gas and propane delivery; complete HVAC installation and service; and fleet fueling services. Still based in Lancaster and still family-owned, the company serves four mid-state counties as Rhoads Energy brand and through several affiliated brands. For more information, visit