And boy am I ever paying for it.
One of the fun bits about living in a new construction project (especially one that’s built during a construction boom and labour shortage) is the delays in setting up and billing for basic services. Like electricity.
We moved in January 5th. We had power the whole time, but they didn’t get around to installing individual meters until July 18th. They were tracking power usage from that point, but didn’t manage to bill for it until the December 4th billing cycle. Our bill for that period was pretty average – about $40/month for late summer and fall. It is a little more than I’m used to paying (past bills for similar-sized places were around $30-$35/month), but not drastically.
Unfortunately, the brilliant stars at BC Hydro, despite our repeated calls to ensure our account was set-up/transferred properly, were still unable to get our address correct until two days ago. They’d been sending the December bill to our old address. The bills for our new place were going to the place with the account we had already closed where someone else is already paying for power, despite having us on record as living at the new address, which is also the place the power they’re billing for is being consumed.
The vast ineptitude of crown corporations never fails to impress me.
Anyhow, they finally sorted out the billing thing (after charging us $2.88 in “late payments” for their mistake) and our bill came in the mail yesterday. Except now it includes the December 4 – February 4th billing period.
I opened it and nearly shat myself.
We’d managed to use nearly as much power in the last two months as the entire 4.5 months before that.
I blame winter, and the fact that we’re now in a corner, instead of middle apartment, with a LOT more windows.
But it’s really just a huge FUCK YOU from the world that I didn’t really feel we needed at the moment.
We live in a brand new place, with (allegedly) highly-rated windows and insulation and brand new Energy Star appliances. We’ve taken the extra steps of installing programmable thermostats, and replacing as many lightbulbs as we can with compact fluorescent bulbs (unfortunately some form-factors are hard to get our hands on, like dimmable chandelier torchiere lights). We used LED Christmas lights.
We aren’t intensely vigilant about power consumption – we haven’t tried to rig up any sort of solar or wind generators, but we are absolutely conscious about it.
We don’t leave every light in the house burning day and night. We turn off lights in rooms we’re not in. We don’t leave idle appliances plugged in. We don’t turn the heat up to sauna-like temperatures.
This is one of those “emergency” expenses that we’re going to have to pull out of our savings account to meet. I just don’t have an extra $400 around to hand over to the power company. And it absolutely chaps my ass. I’m now in a serious funk about not being able to make it on our plan. There were already the taxes in January, which I was hoping would be the end of it. We’re now only a few days into February and already have the power bill fiasco. What kind of assholery will the universe deliver in March?
I’m also sortof at a loss about what we can do to reduce our next hydro bill. Other than learning to love candles and sweaters more than I already do – what else is there?