A few months ago when the power bill hit the mail box I noticed some new fees. “Major construction fee” and “construction deferment fee”. These new fees caught me off guard, made me upset for two reasons.
1. When most companies look to expand their operations in order to make more money and have a wider customer base, they have to absorb the expansion costs as their cost of doing business. Not the power company, not only did they raise their fees for power, but now I am paying on average of an additional $10 per month for them to expand their business. On top of this, the City and State taxes are calculated AFTER the construction and the construction deferment fees are accessed. So in the end, each user of power is paying not only a higher fee, for their expansion to charge more customers AND more taxes. This just makes me mad. Why? Because not only did they raise my rates (which I feel they should fund their own business expansion!), but they also ended up raising my taxes in the process.
2. There are millions of people using the power company (they have a monopoly in our state, there is only ONE power company allowed so we have no choice but to pay them), if you take $10 per month per each user they are making multi-millions each and every month in additional revenue. Really? Construction costs multi-millions every single month so they can raise our rates and charge us even more money? They aren’t building in my area, we were established long ago—so……. just where is this new construction that I am paying for?
Okay that is my problem!
One of my girlfriends came over the other day for a visit. It happened to be the day I paid my power bill and I asked her what she thought about the new construction and construction deferment fees. She looked at me blankly and said “what fees?” Like so many other people, she has never bothered to look at anything but the bill total listed at the top of her bill and paid that amount, she has never bothered to look at the small print below that bill total box. So I pulled my bill out of the “paid” box and showed it to her, she was shocked to see the construction and construction deferment fees, she was floored when she realized she was paying city and state taxes on top of her bill. She never realized she paid these. When she was done looking at the small print she looked up and said, “what about my state income tax, my property tax, the portion of the property tax that goes back directly to the city….don’t they pay for these things?” I have no simple answer for her because like her, I thought the same thing. I encourage each of you to look more closely at each of your bills hitting your house and take a look at just where your money is going. You work hard for it, you should know where you are spending it.
That’s it for my soap box rant, as promised I’m not going to sit here and complain, the rant above is what I feel is a problem in my life. I like to solve problems and based upon the fact that I can not change the government, I can not send in my bill minus the fees I disagree with BUT I can reduce my bill and in such reduce the amount of fees in which I pay to them.
Here are some ways I am currently or working towards in reducing my bills.
1. They are inexpensive, but there are new “smart” power strips that you can plug banks of items into. Such as the DVD, game box, television, cable box, stereo into. These items use nearly 1/2 of their power load when they are not in use. This is known as a “phantom load” meaning even though you are not using it, it is still pulling electricity. With the “smart” power strips, if the item is not in use they simply stop the electrical current. No current means no phantom load.
2. Purchase more solar lights, build a trolley with wheels, load the lights onto the trolley in the morning, place then in sunlight by day, wheel them back in the house and place them in their holders to illuminate the house at night. This allows more than enough light to use the computer, watch television and do the dishes. The new LED lights are much brighter than the old ones and they provide lighting at night free of charge. Well not totally free, you do have to use your hands to move them in and out of the house and into the sunlight by day and back into the house at night.
3. Unplug things which have “standby” loads (phantom loads) when they are not in use. This includes the cell phone chargers, the DVD and game boxes not on a “smart” power strip.
4. Turn the hot water heater down a few degrees to save gas.
I’m sure you are getting the picture. It isn’t about not paying for electricity and the additional fees and taxes to everyone, it simply means I am getting rid of the “excess” I have become used to. The goal is to not be a glutton and simply use what I really need to use.
That’s it for this rant.