We received our power bill yesterday. It reflected a 37% increase in usage over the previous billing cycle.
The way the billing cycle works with this particular electrical cooperative is that they read our meters at the end of the first week of the month. The bill you receive three weeks later is for power you used in the month before the reading. In plain language, what that means is that the electricity I am paying for in my January bill is the power the household used during the month of November 7 to December 8.
Generally speaking, our power bills remain pretty much the same all year. During the hottest part of the summer, our air conditioner is the biggest user. And during the cold part of the summer, my massage room is the power suck. I have found that people have a hard time relaxing if they are cold. So the room gets to stay warm, and is usually quite a lot warmer than the rest of the house, by a matter of at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
So, to what can we attribute the extra power usage to? Well, in November Jesse was on leave and was staying here with us. Rather than force him to sleep in the same frigid conditions that we do (our room is never heated except for “special occasions” and we keep the door closed — it generally is around 52-55°F [11-13°C] in there in the winter), we had the space heater on in the room he was sleeping in. Also, he took daily showers, with hot water, which is electrically heated here at The Havens.
We have not instituted the Navy way with the water here, with a person in charge of the hot water valve, which gets turned off after three minutes. Maybe we should do the thing with the coin operated heaters that was the system in the dorm I stayed at in London lo these many decades ago. There, if you wanted the heater to run, you had to put coins in the box. The shower at the laundromat in Alaska had the same system — money made the water run for 4 minutes. If you wanted a longer shower, you had to put more quarters in the box.
I’m viewing the arrival of the February power bill with a certain amount of trepidation because in the period between December 8 and January 8 we were happy hosts for over two weeks. Even though for one week, I did not keep my massage room warm because I was taking the week off, the back bedroom stayed warm for two weeks, and for two days we were keeping both extra bedrooms warm. Additionally, for a week there were two people who felt the need to take showers, one of whom had nice long hair which apparently needed to be washed every day, and then it had to be blow dried after that.
I have to admit, every time I heard that unmentionable hair-destroying appliance running, I wanted to go out and watch the little wheel go round and round on the electric meter so that at least I would get some entertainment out of the deal.
Anyway, I expect that the eek! I felt when I saw the total on the bill this month will be nothing compared to the OUCH! I feel when it comes next month.
A side note: one of my guests had the absolute unmitigated gall to tell me that her room was “too cold”, it wasn’t what she was used to at home. I was not all that happy to hear that complaint considering that her room was about 5 degrees warmer than the rest of the house. I invited her into my bedroom. She walked in, said “Oh!”, walked back out, and we didn’t hear another word out of her about how cold her sleeping quarters were. I think she was aware that I was on the point of inviting her to turn her heat off entirely so she could share experiencing the temperature that I experience on a daily basis.
Well, we want to see our child, and we enjoy having family visit, so some sacrifices have to be made. Still, I wonder how the young lady I mentioned above will adjust to life when she has to pay her own power bill.