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This is a serious diary. Doesn’t mean we can’t have fun. But if you want to go straight to the payoff, it’s down below at soft energy path and getting off the grid.

Now, then – the question! Your electric bill.

Never mind how many kilowatt hours you use, don’t bother breaking down the impenetrable thicket of "basic fixed service charges," transmission charge, distribution/customer charge, distribution/energy charge, transition charge, energy conservation charge, renewable energy charge, therm conversion factor, sales tax, or even the dreaded "default service tariff cost adjustment factors."

Never &@#%$*^# mind that!

(jump)

Never mind any of that - - just how much do you pay a month for electricity, on average? Smooth out the winter and summer months and make a rough estimate.

You wanna guess how much Mr. Inconveniently Robbed of Election paid last month? You could check out one of these excellent or otherwise diaries and penetrating comments.

But, most likely, you are not a Senator’s Son, nor are you an Academy Award Winning documentary filmmaker, nor a Nobel Prize nominee.

I would say it is entirely unlikely you ever received 50,999,897 votes give or take 537 or so.

This is about YOUR budget. Your hometown stuff. You wanna see how far your locality veers from the average national price of electicity? You could try here although the "latest" figures are at least 15 months old – that’s our bought and paid forFederal Govt. in action!

But why waste your time? Plug into our SOFT ENERGY PATH future. The sooner you do, the sooner YOU will be able to say:
"Dude, I’m getting off the grid!"

HEY! And turn out that light when you leave the room! Jeez.

Originally posted to ornerydad on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 05:25 AM PST.

Poll

On average, for my household electricity bill I pay:

0%1 votes
2%6 votes
29%69 votes
30%71 votes
32%75 votes
1%3 votes
2%6 votes
0%0 votes

| 231 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips, flames, soft energy initiatives! (16+ / 0-)

    It's your forum, kids!

    Hope is, after all, the currency of popular politics, and a coin surprisingly hard to devalue. -- Fred Anderson, Crucible of War

    by ornerydad on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 05:22:38 AM PST

  •  My gas and electric are combined (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OpherGopher, tosscandy

    My bill is $324 per month -- EVERY month of the year -- for heat, a/c, electric. We have NIPSCO here, the creepy company that does real estate speculation and other things on the side -- and makes its customers pick up the tab for its forays. No green energy initiatives here, either, that I can discover.

    When it comes to energy, northwest Indiana is a terrible place to live.

    "There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order." Ed Howdershelt

    by JuliaAnn on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 05:31:45 AM PST

  •  I just installed CFL bulbs everywhere... (6+ / 0-)

    All of my commonly used lights (those that are not on dimmer circuits) are now CFL, and I've made a habit of turning things off when not in use - I cut my consumption by 254 KWH between Jan and Feb of this year, both on actual meter reads, no estimated reads.  Saved me $42 on my bill, too - very worthwhile!

    The significant problems we face today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. - Albert Einstein

    by AnotherMassachusettsLiberal on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 05:42:14 AM PST

  •  Ornerydad, have you joined Kos Environmentalists? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne, ornerydad, rapala

    Please join the list if you haven't already:

    Dailykos Environmentalists

    The significant problems we face today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. - Albert Einstein

    by AnotherMassachusettsLiberal on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 05:45:03 AM PST

  •  I'm that vote. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne, ornerydad

    Believe it or not, our combined gas/electric was damn near exactly $432.  Where's my Oscar?

    Nanotechnology can take atmospheric CO2 and make diamonds and fresh air.

    by Crashing Vor on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 05:58:16 AM PST

    •  PS (5+ / 0-)

      Entergy is totally messing w/ residents of my neighborhood, w/ higher "fool adjustments," bogus meter "readings," etc.  Everyone I know is contesting almost every bill.

      One neighbor got a bill for over $900 for a building she was gutting with no meter/service.  She called Entergy and asked wtf, was told, "We base our bills on the meter readings, ma'am."  She responded, "Well, your reader must have brought his own, because there hasn't been a meter on the building since the storm."

      They are simply throwing s**t out there to see if people are gullible enough to pay.  Meanwhile, they've gotten millions of the federal dough for our "reconstruction" and a hefty rate increase.  This after the wholly-owned "affiliate" that was once our public power company declared bankruptcy so that Entergy, Inc. wouldn't be touched by storm-related costs.

      No wonder the parent company's earnings and stock price keep hitting all-time record highs.

      Okay, sorry.  Blood cooling now.  As you were.

      Nanotechnology can take atmospheric CO2 and make diamonds and fresh air.

      by Crashing Vor on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 06:04:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure, bankruptcy is a beautiful thing! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sbdenmon, Crashing Vor
        • - when you are a corporation.

        Hope is, after all, the currency of popular politics, and a coin surprisingly hard to devalue. -- Fred Anderson, Crucible of War

        by ornerydad on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 06:08:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  We now have Entergy (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ornerydad, Crashing Vor

        For years our 'Rural Member Owned Electric Company' was twice as high as the electric company owned by the city.  They said it was because they had less people per mile and were paying for a nuclear power plant.  After years of paying double, more and more homes were added to the area and nuclear power was paid for. The bills stopped going up.   We even started getting a piece of the profit.  Not much but $50 a year or so.

        Then they joined Entergy.  Ouch!  Our lowest bill was $248 in the months where there is no heat or air required.  Our highest has been $379.

        Entergy says they have to pay more for coal so they have to charge more.

        I think they screw with the meters.  One day, after joining Entergy, they came, knocked on the door and said they were going to change the meter.  Our bill had been reasonable and was still reasonable the next two months.  Then, I saw a man go to our meter box and heard him pull it and our electric went off for a few seconds.  Then a month or so later the same thing happened.

        When we complained about the high cost to the electric company, my husband mentioned the meter. They gave us a meter number to check to see if it was the original one.  Of course it was.  

        What I think they did is put in an inspected meter the first time with the "number" on it.  Then they pulled it later, replaced it with another one, while they took the original meter and made it run higher kwh.

        Walmart built where Entergy is the electric company and it turned them green and they are complaining so much that Entergy is being investigated!  But they said it would be two years before our company can pull out from the Entergy group.

        To me it is criminal what they are doing. Contracts should be cancelled when an utility is overcharging.

        We have a water well, and an electric heat pump. We are totally electric. Where our kwh used to be about 2000 on average it is 4200 on average.

        People who live in small homes are getting $700 electric bills.  It is not only a rip off of the middle class, if the government is paying for the poor's electricity, it is a rip off of the taxpayer.

        I am calling and demanding a new meter.

        If everyone would get amnesty in Iraq, then maybe they could sign a peace treaty. Too many have died since we refused amnesty before.

        by relentless on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:07:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wal-Mart calls cops on utility! (0+ / 0-)

          Gotta love it...

          Somehow, the utility setup reminds me of the feudal system. In each city and county, the utilities are quasi-monopolies. The public utility review boards, such as they are, tend to be limp.

          But while we build vigilance and press for changes through routes like Public Citizen, etc., we can also be building a future where we farm some of our own energy. Some of it. Enough to counterbalance the centralized utility structure, enough to introduce a whole pervasive, background generation scene - - if we each (individual home or neighborhood, village or town, etc.) had a brace of panels or a little windmill setup - - then we would erode the monopolistic power and reduce the upward price pressure.

          Hope is, after all, the currency of popular politics, and a coin surprisingly hard to devalue. -- Fred Anderson, Crucible of War

          by ornerydad on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:40:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Definitely worthwhile.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne, ornerydad, OpherGopher

    to pay attention to the number of KWh that you use on a monthly basis as well as the $ amount of the bill.  The monthly rates around the country are all over the place, and there are taxes and fees and other such things, and rates and taxes do change from time to time.  Where we live, the electric utilities are to be deregulated in 2010, so I expect the rates to jump substantially at that point.  Right now, the base rate is something like 6 cents/KWh, which I gather is close to the cheapest in the nation.

    Even this is misleading though.  I took the trouble of going through the electric bill with a fine toothed comb, and once you add in all of the taxes and riders, we are closer to 9 cents/KWh for the first 800KWh and 10 cents/KWh for anything over this (plus about $7.50 fixed cost/month).

    Before I moved in with my girlfriend, I was down to about 2-300 KWh/month in my townhome.   I am putting in CF bulbs all over the place in my girlfriend's house now to try and get usage down there too.  I still have my place, but the fridge & furnace (with heat turned down) still draw 150 KWh/month.

    Comparing one house to the next is a bit hard though.  My house has an electric dryer - hers has a gas dryer.  Mine has a gas furnace, hers has an electric heat pump with a gas backup.   Still, by watching the KWh and therms (for gas), you can get a feel for what your usage trends are, and get a sense of how much progress you are making.

  •  It used to be (5+ / 0-)

    $200/month in the winter and $630/month in the summer. The average was around $450/month. This was for a 4000sqft house in Dallas, TX built in 2000.
    So I am not surprised at Al Gores electrical bill for a 10000sqft mansion in similarly hot Nashville...

    Moved to a 40 year old 1600sqft house shaded by 60ft tall pecan trees, oaks and cedars in Dallas and my electrical bill went down to $80/month in the winter and $180/month in the summer. All while switching from gas-coal-nuclear TXU to more expensive wind-water Green Mountain Energy.

  •  You may deserve a recommend for this diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ornerydad

    but your solutions are purely idealistic. My energy bill has doubled. I read your links to soft energy and getting off the grid, but really, I only thing I felt after reading them was.... Well, looks as if I'm still on the grid and stuck there, like so many other people without alternative sources. Okay, I will shut the lights when I leave the room more diligently. Thanks for that tip.

    In the meantime, I'm paying through the nose because the alternative right now is living in the dark. It's no fun.

    •  Well, that's what the discussion is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne

      really about, in the largest sense:

      Why do we have a government?

      Should ENERGY POLICY be a key part of government?

      Our federal government's energy policy seems to be, whatever the oil companies want, that's our policy.

      And our current Administration's extension of that policy seems to be, "including making war wantonly."

      If we were not spending untold $$billions on oil company and utility subsidies and tax breaks and war on oil and gas nations, we would see the "alternative" sources start to make very clear economic sense in very broad ways.

      And just as important: we would see the de-centralization and de-monopolization of energy.

      I would like to think it can and will start to happen in this country, in my lifetime, and actually start to flourish in my kids' lifetime!

      Thanks for your comment.

      Hope is, after all, the currency of popular politics, and a coin surprisingly hard to devalue. -- Fred Anderson, Crucible of War

      by ornerydad on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:45:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Got your point. (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, the government has to get back into energy, like it has to get back into every single service that constituted the safety blanket of old, and revive it. We just can't tolerate these levels of poverty and homelessness in America. It is shameful.

  •  Electricity is about $100 but then there's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor

    the gas bill.

    <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

    by bronte17 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 06:56:35 AM PST

  •  $40 - $50 per month average. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne, ornerydad

    This for a small apartment in a mild climate, where I turn the heat on maybe ten days per year. I'm conscientious about things like leaving the TV, VCR, microwave etc. unplugged and am gradually replacing light bulbs with CFLs.

    My energy bills have gone up a bit since 1986 when I first moved in--I still remember that first bill; it was six dollars and some change.

    Scientia potentia est.

    by slksfca on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:25:45 AM PST

    •  I have concerns about disposal of CFLs. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, slksfca

      I don't have any idea where to take them for recycling in my area (small town in southern Ohio, not close to any major metro area) and am not comfortable with the idea of putting mercury into a local landfill. On the other hand, my electric bill is between $20 and $30 per month, so I'm not a huge energy consumer.

      Who you gonna call?

      by Ahianne on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:08:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  $54.04 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ornerydad

    this month. It's higher than last year, as I put in a higher eff. furnace (gas), and although my gas bills are lower, the fan on the furnace runs more often than the old one. I also put a humidifier on and it runs through a lot more water than I thought...
    My electric used to be about 30.00.
    I have a small two bedroom, 100-yr home, I turn off lights religiously, unplug stuff, and actually keep jugs of water in the fridge to lower the energy used to keep that cool.

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