We’re paying much more but using it less, the ‘good life’ is really causing me stress.

Between my mother, the workmen, the electric company, my school’s website having issues and Google Hangouts acting up, I have had more than enough aggravation for one day.

On the mother / electric company front, she tasked me with yelling at them for kilowatts costing too much. I don’t think she understands HOW BILL IS FORMED.

The electric bill includes a handy graph showing a break-down of energy usage over the past year. We are using (only slightly) less energy now than we did at the same time last year. Since the difference in energy usage isn’t dramatic, but the price is apparently higher than it was in the past, the logical person would think, “Hmm. We used the same amount of energy but are having to pay more. Maybe the electric company is being greedy and charging us more for energy this year.” It says right on the bill that we aren’t suddenly doing something weird to increase the amount of energy we consume. Using logic…that would be too easy.

She is fixated on the idea that there is an energy leak somewhere. We are using fewer appliances now than then, as one room is being worked on (and she insists that the power tools are not the energy sucks) and we turned off one A/C unit upstairs. I try to do laundry and dishes every other week instead of weekly if I can (since I had two floods this week and have nasty towels, I don’t have that luxury this time and must wash them this week or end up with swilly, stinky towels), and to avoid using the stove and oven during the hot months. The porch light was disconnected due to construction. Oddly, this has not made much of a difference.

I am not secretly running a Studio 54-like disco — with racks of lights and a kickin’ sound system and overheating blenders concocting oceans of White Russians for people in polyester pants — in my living room at night, I swear.

The bottom line is that the electric company is charging more per kilowatt this year, and the problem will not go away by tackling it from the “sit in the dark without air conditioning” angle. We are already using a less energy than we did last year, even if we are paying more (assuming this is not just her flawed perception, like the electric company appears to think it is). We are already using a lot less power than we did last month.

She needs to yell at the electric company for their pricing–not that it will do any more good–because that is where the problem is. If you are using LESS energy now but paying MORE, then the problem is the COST, not the AMOUNT.

Yes, I could sit in the dark more often, but I have work to do. It is an impractical solution.

One good solution is to do nothing, as it is October, and the problem will resolve itself as it gets cooler and we turn off the A/C window units, which I suspect are the biggest kilowatt hogs in the house.

If the title of this blog post rings a faint bell, it’s inspired by line from this old tune:


3 thoughts on “We’re paying much more but using it less, the ‘good life’ is really causing me stress.

  1. Ric Gerace says:

    If you haven’t already, switch to CFLs. I switched almost every bulb and my bill went down by half the following month.

    • britpoptarts says:

      Great advice. Actually did go on a CFL buying-and-old-bulb-replacing spree two years back; the only lights in the house not using CFLs are lamps which attach the lampshade with metal prongs to a round-top old-style bulb. Unfortunately, that’s five of them. Fortunately, only two are used regularly. It did seem to help, but the price per kilowatt has still increased, so it is about even with what it was before the majority of bulbs were replaced. J’accuse! Shenanigans! 🙂

      • Ric Gerace says:

        They’ve come out with newer CFLs that have a bulb around the twisty part. The state energy people gave me a bunch of them a few weeks ago when they came to do an evaluation for heating efficiency. I now have a drawer full of twisties and incandescents. Maybe in twenty years when I’m really old I can sell them as antiques… 🙂

        The energy companies will keep pricing going up. The abundance of cheap natural gas is probably keeping the price from skyrocketing right now, but at a tremendous cost to the environment via fracking. I’m getting solar panels installed in the next couple of months. Seems like the only way to go for electricity in the home now.

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