A *much* cheaper way of heating (and better for your BP too) is an under the tank heater. I don't know how much these cost in Canada, but it will be an initial cost outlay. In the US, the smallest one is about $17 and they go up from there. You want one that will cover approximately 1/3 of the base of your tank. The wattage obviously varies according to the size. The smallest ones are about 6-8 watts output, but even they heat too hot, so next you need a rheostat or lamp dimmer. You can wire your own (look for the instructions on this site) for only a few dollars, or you can buy a lamp dimmer in the US for about $10 at Walmart (once again, I don't know how much they are in Canada). You need to plug the under tank heater into the dimmer (note: this is not an option - it is essential as you will burn your snake if its not on a dimmer).
So - the bad news is you will have an initial outlay for the heater & the rheostat, but the good news is that once you have these set up and temps correct, you will notice a significant savings in the electric bill over a 100w light bulb. Point out to your dad that eventually these items will pay for themselves.
As I said, this is a much better method of heat for a BP, as they are ground dwellers. You can heat 1/3 of the tank and this will allow him to thermoregulate properly, moving back and forth between the heated side and the cooler side.
You will also need to invest in a thermometer (get a digital one at Walmart as the round dial type aren't very accurate). You want a hot side of 90-95 & a cool side of 80-85. To begin with, you will need to check temps often in order to get them stabilized at the desired temperatures. Once you have done that, you will only need to check once or twice a day to be sure you are maintaining the correct temps. As someone said, the ideal is to have all of this set up and temps regulated for about two weeks prior to getting the snake, but seeing as how you already have your snake, the next best thing is to take care of this just as soon as you possibly can.
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