Is that so?

The enclosure with the latest utility bill from the entity now calling itself Austin Energy leads with the question “why is my electric bill so high?” and goes on to furnish the reply “record hot weather.” The little article reports that some customers have been asking whether the increased fuel charge is the reason for high utility bills. The response: “But the fuel charge only represents about one-third of the average residential customer bill.”

The average residential electric usage in June is reported to have been 1,233 killowatt-hours. At our establishment, we used 453 kWh in June and we used 483 in July, with “energy charges” of $16.05 and $17.15 respectively. In both months, the fuel charge exceeded the energy charge, being $16.51 in June and $17.64 in July. The regressive flat-rate “customer charge” for electric service of $6 represented over 14% of our June bill and over 15% of our July electricity bill (more, were the sales tax to be excluded). The $6 goes on the bill before a single light is turned on. We use electricity chiefly to power lights, fans, a computer, a radio, a washing machine, and a refrigerator that’s not new. In the winter, the oven takes a lot of power because, when it’s cooler, we use it a lot for baking and for the occasional roast.

I think it’s funny that the little monthly newsletter enclosure, which used to be called EnergyPlus, is now being called PowerPlus and bears a trademark sign. Where’s the money going that we don’t spend on utilities? In the summertime, especially, we do a lot more dining out (often recounted here) and also movie-going.

3 Comments so far

  1. triman on August 14th, 2008 @ 11:26 pm

    Wow, how many sq ft is your home? I let my A/C drift up to 81 during the day when I’m not there, and 78 overnight, my KWH for June were 885!

    I guess I need to start looking for energy savings…

  2. triman on August 14th, 2008 @ 11:29 pm

    Oh wait, I’ve just reread your post, you don’t have A/C… I don’t feel so bad, but still need to make savings.

  3. odoublegood on August 15th, 2008 @ 1:07 am

    The temperature indoors has risen no higher than 81 or 82 on the very hottest days these past couple of months and up until now. It drops during the night and continues to do so up until a certain point in the mornings. The house (1700 s.f.) was designed and built in the pre-A/C era, sited well in relation to the sun’s course, with transoms and other ventilation strategically located for cross-drafts. Trees do their part, too. Awnings shading windows on one side of the house would keep it cooler, and one of these days we’ll get around to that (we’re thinking Venetian, the ones on "spears"). During the hottest months we’re not making pizzas, bread, cakes, pies, or other items requiring the oven to be on for an extended period. Less electricity will be consumed whenever the refrigerator quits and is replaced by a new one.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.