On February 3, The New York Times ran a front page article on Ike Libby, the co-owner of a small oil company based in Maine, called Hometown Energy. In the piece, author Dan Barry detailed how the tough economy has put stress on businesspeople like Libby, who struggle with decisions such as whether to supply oil to customers who aren't able to pay.
"You get off the phone thinking, 'Are these people going to be found frozen?'" Libby told the news source in a poignant moment that touched many readers.
But, the story doesn't end on a sad note. According to the Bangor Daily News, average Americans who were moved by the story sent Libby's company more than $100,000. Libby said that while he doesn't care for the government, the display of giving makes him proud to be an American.
In particular, the article cited the plight of Robert and Wilma Hartford, of Peru, Maine, a disabled couple living off a fixed income of roughly $1,200 a month, who are struggling to pay for the oil they need to heat their home. But, just as Libby was touched by the kindness of his fellow citizens, so were the Hartfords. The media outlet indicates that representatives from three companies visited their home to assess its energy efficiency after the article was published.
Josh Wojcik, the owner of Upright Frameworks, believes the cause of the Hardfords' heating problem lies in its heating efficiency, and spent his time showing the homeowners the heat loss their house was experiencing with an infrared camera.
While homeowners across the country can benefit from this type of kindness, they may need to rely on low-cost energy-saving tools that can decrease their oil use in the colder winter months. Those who don't have enough money for costly renovations, for instance, can choose to purchase of electric heaters and other tools that can help them weather the season with more of their hard-earned cash intact.