Thursday, January 10, 2008

$296.16

If there is one day I hate more than any other day in the month, it's the day I get my electricity bill in the mail. That day was today.

Seriously (and I'm not saying this for effect), I get sick when I see a TXU return address in my stack of mail. As I open it, it's like life moves in slow motion. My stomach turns and I try not to think about the bile creeping up my throat. And the total due is never on the top fold of the statement. I have to totally take it out of the envelope, unfold it, and search for the amount (peeking and stuffing it back in the envelope would feel so much better, I think).

I have two words for the $296.16 total due: Horse shit.

Scout and I are by no means the most frugal people I've ever met, but we are most certainly not the biggest spendthrifts either. We are happily in the middle, attempting to move to the more frugal side of things. We've recently started replacing burned out bulbs with energy efficient bulbs, turning the heat off at night and while we are at work (which means the heater is on for four hours or less), and turning off every single light when it's not in use. To add insult to injury, I feel sinfully guilty for every second that I bask in the toasty warmth of our house.

So am I doing something wrong, or do some of you battle with this too?

Or maybe it's normal to have a bill that high (I would certainly hope not - I'd like to think that I could do more to make the bill go down - besides insulating the damn attic).

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I lived in Killeen, I had a 2100 sf house and we paid about $300-$350 per month with TXU. Now, I've moved 2 hours south and am with the local energy company. I have a 2 story house with 2700 sf and 2 kids that have every tv and light bulb on all day and we still pay about $165. TXU bites!

Jennifer F.

Heidi said...

WOW! I feel your pain with TXU . . . my bill should be here any day now. Have you thought about having them do an energy audit? I have never done this but somewhere I read (or maybe had a dream) that they (not sure if it is TXU or your city folks) will come out and tell you ways to reduce your bill . . . adding insulation, fixing windows that leak, blah, blah, blah. Did you have Christmas lights? I will say that my TXU bill is usually less that $200 but I am very strict with the setting and always have on more clothes than I need and oh in summer my house is warm. Ouch, I hope it gets better . . .

Anonymous said...

That's screwed up beyond repair.
I use TXU and our bill here in Dallas was $67 for December.
Do you have a heat pump? If so, it's not TXU, but the heat pump that's your problem.

Don B

AUNT PENNY said...

ERIN--

BRUCE HAD A HEAT PUMP PUT IN SO I CAN HAVE AIR CONDITIONING IN THE SUMMER (BECAUSE OF MY M.S.) THAT AND THE INSULATION WE HAD DONE IN ALL OUR WALLS AND ATTIC AND CRAWL SPACE HAS MADE SUCH A DIFFERENCE. I RARELY HAVE TO PUT THE HEAT ABOVE 68. USED TO HAVE TO HAVE IT AT 71 OR 72. OUR ELECTIC RUNS BETWEEN 78 AND 98 A MONTH. WE ALSO HAD NEW WINDOWS PUT IN THAT HAVE BEEN WONDERFUL ON REDUCING SOUND AND HEAT/COLD. ALL THESE THINGS HAVE HELPED SO MUCH. I ONLY WISH WE'D DONE THE INSULATION LON AGO -- IT IS SO WORTH IT.

Nicole said...

Do you have natural gas or electric? My parents have natural gas waaay up north and they have very high bills in the winter--probably about what you're paying. Electric should be cheaper.

Mark said...

Naw, you're in good company.


PG$E are some of the biggest fucking thieves in the corporate world.

I sure as hell don't feel I should have to go around in three sweaters every waking minute.

It's bullshit.

Only $19.95 said...

I wonder about most of my 'utilities' payments. My gas varies from 10 bucks to 50, same with my water. Electric? I'm in your boat. Easily $250 a month. And I blame myself.... TVs on, lights..... I know exactly how you feel!

Bled Broke in Dallas said...

It is NOT just you.

Our bill, since we moved to Dallas in August, has been crazy.

Aug - 300$ !?
Sept - 120$
Oct - 89$
Nov - 115$
Dec - 330$ !?
Jan - 290$ !?

We did NOT alter our usage patterns, and TXU/Oncor has stalled meter testing on the claim "We have had unusually high service calls over the last two months due to bad rain and storms." BS! Test has been on demand since early January, still no test and lights on disconnect notice because making a payment is legally accepting the charges as valid.

Time for a class action lawsuit against these criminals.