Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Frustrated With Our Utility Bill

You all know that I will do anything possible to lower my electric and gas bill. We work so hard to keep it low and try to beat the dollar amount of the same month last year. I usually look at that bill and last month's bill also.

Having knowledge of the way rates work, I am well aware that they are based on supply and demand and that the utility company can pass on their costs to the consumer according to the company's tariffs. I also know that delivery charges are somewhat tied to supply charges.

So doing an analysis of our February 21, 2017 bill, the KWH used were 608 for electricity and 152 CCF's  of natural gas. The billed amount was a total of $ 221.94.

Comparing it to our January bill, we used 608 KWH of electricity and 150CCF's of natural gas.The billed amount was $ 210.13.

Both bills were for exactly 31 days. First,it's amazing to me that both bills were exactly 608 KWH's. We also used 2 CCF's of natural gas less than in January. However the February bill is $ 11.81 more than January's and it has been a much warmer month which affects the supply side.

So then I went back and took a look at the February 23, 2016 bill. We used 619 KWH of electricity and 162CCF's of natural gas. The bill was for 33 days and was $ 198.94. That is an increase year over year of exactly $ 23.00 for less KWH's and less CCF's and 2 less days than the same period last year. That is quite an increase. 

So looking further and comparing the two February bills I notice that both the delivery and supply charges are way up. So now I wonder why. I wonder if the company had a rate increase somewhere in the past year. I wonder if the meter man read wrong. So I pull out the readings that I took 2 days before the meter man read and his readings seem correct to me. I always read the meter every month especially in the winter because our meter man has been known to not read when he is supposed to and he submits an estimated bill. He tells the company he couldn't get to the meter because there was too much snow. 

So there is not much left for me to do but call the company this morning and ask them to explain to me the increases. I am hoping I can get a representative that can actually explain billings. Most of them don't know how when you ask them questions on each item. But eventually, I will get someone in the hierarchy to give me the answers.

But the bottom line here is that the bills are increasing immensely year over year so we need to do something to save even more. We don't get a $23.00 increase in our available retirement money monthly. 

I have shown you what we do to decrease our utility bills Here. Also Here and Here. 

However we are going to have to find some new ways such as eating more and more raw meals. Things that don't have to be cooked so that no electricity or natural gas are used. We like salads alot and eat them often but we will have to up our consumption. I will also serve more platters of cheeses and pepperoni, black olives, etc. We will eat more eggs for meals that I can hard boil all at once and keep in the fridge. I will do much more cooking of bulk meals that we eat night after night. Cook once, eat three times maybe. 

Maybe we won't use our stove or oven at all this year from April to October. We can grill outside and have salads or a fresh vegetable platter with our meats. I already save on propane by grilling a large quantity of meat all at once and eating it during the week. 

We could also up the temperature in our refrigerator a couple of degrees and our freezer too but still keep them within safe standards.   

If I thought we would have an early spring so that we could turn the heat off earlier this year than last, I would be happy but I won't hold my breath. We have already been having a heatwave here but the utility bill doesn't reflect that. However it is going to get cold again on Friday night. 

We could sell our chest freezer and just use our freezer drawers that are in our refrigerator but then meat would cost us more because we couldn't bulk buy it on sale or be able to buy a 1/4 cow this Fall.

I will keep thinking all of the time about how we can beat the electric company and come up with some more new ways. I am just so frustrated with this increase.

If any of you know of things that I am not doing to lower my utility bills, would you please share them in the comments. I would appreciate your suggestions immensely. I would love hearing about how you do it.    


  1. I hope you are able to get some answers. That is so frustrating to try to conserve and yet the bills keep going up.
    We are on a monthly budget plan for electricity where we pay the same amount each month, and then have to pay a catchup amount in May. We have had a milder winter, but were notified that our rate would increase $20/month. I don't understand it.

    1. Hi Kathy,

      I hate the monthly budget plans. I want to pay what I want them to bill me exactly what I owe every month. I hate the budget plans with the same monthly payment every month. If it isn't estimated correctly, you can end up getting money back at the end of that year.I never want the utility company to use my money for free. I can make more money investing it than letting them use it for free. If you don't pay enough in your monthly payment, then they up the budget the following year and you have to make up the balance at the end of the current period.You are at the mercy of people estimating based on your prior usage which a lot of things such as colder or warmer weather can throw that off or if you up your usage.

      I have a supervisor calling me back because the rep didn't know what she was talking about. I wish they would train them properly.