Saturday, July 22, 2006

In The Good Ole Summertime

Oh. My. Stars. Has anyone else opened a power bill and had a heart attack? Last month when our bill was over $400 I was initially embarrassed. I just KNEW people would think we were "running that air all the time!" My sweet hubby told me we were losing air somewhere in the house. For his birthday, my in-laws gave us storm doors. (They are lovely, thank you for asking.)

Well, I'm letting the secret out! TXU has raised the standard rate over 24 percent since last summer. In Texas that means that our "price to beat" has gone up over 24 percent! We haven't done anything wrong - the powerful energy providers have simply made it cost more to cool our homes. My friend, Tom, has been saying for months that in August people will have to choose to turn off their air or eat. I'm including a link for you to compare rates if you like.

Yes, we've switched providers. Yes, we have turned to air up to 77 all the time. It's down right warm in the kitchen at supper time. Yes, I've given up a wonderful pedicure. We haven't chosen air over food, yet, but I see lots of beans in our future.

Note to self: Buy Beano.

9 comments:

Sarah said...

Yes, embarassed, heart attack, all of those things. Since I've already gotten my July bill and will pay it Aug. 1, I guess we won't be eating too much in August. Lots of baked potato dinners, I think. For us this is one of those unforeseens that changed our plans. "We've gotten a raise!! Let's put a few extra dollars in savings every month! Oh, never mind -- let's pay the electricity bill." *sigh* back to square one.

Tammy M. said...

It doesn't help that this summer is hotter than the last couple I can remember. I do have to say as a person who was raised in Arizona for the most part, central air was something I took for granted. Then I moved Abilene and lived in some older homes with window units. Talk about hot. I was paying a fortune to slightly cool part of my house. Then we bought the house we are in now, the A/C was old and didn't work well, finally it kicked the bucket about 2 years ago, and this is my 2nd summer in about 15 years that I have a house which will cool off and we are not constantly sweating in the summertime. As much as I dread the bill, I welcome the cooled air, and when I write that check to TXU, soon to be Reliant, I am grateful for a comfortably cool home.

Disciple said...

$400! Have you checked the caulking around your windows? Replace your window screens with sun screens.

Can you tell I'm having a heart attack with you?

Anne Jones said...

Sweating is just not something I choose to do while sitting on the couch in my own living room. When I am out and about other places, I can always just suck it up, but at home, we choose beans over sweat. Some months, that means LOTS of mac and cheese and beans! And I am with Sarah...the minute you think you have gotten a raise, you discover it doesn't even cover the cost-of-living increase! AGH! Back to square one!

soul and culture said...

Good Lord! Before I moved to Denver and was doing a bit out house-hunting online, I saw ads for houses with the "amenity" air-conditioning. As a true Southerner, I know A/C is not an amenity. It's a non-negotiable. A must-have. I was freaked out by the cost of housing here, and throw no A/C on top of what I thought were exorbitant prices, and the thought of moving here seemed ridiculous.

What did I end up buying? A 1950's house with no A/C. But it does have a swamp cooler. Love the house, but I was a bit freaked out by the no A/C thing still, even though LOTS of folks here don't have A/C. Turns out the swamp cooler and ceiling fans are keeping things cool. And if I told you how much my latest power bill was, you would hate me. But it was double digits...

Dee O'Neil Andrews said...

Good grief, Denise!

It IS really hot here, I have to say. I was out here last July and it was bad, but not quite this bad, I don't think. And you can forget the put downs on the heat "plus" the unrelenting high humidity in south Mississippi and Lousiana being much worse than the "dry" heat of west Texas (or Tucson, where my mom and dad lived for a long time before moving here to Abilene).

Dry heat is no better. Not one bit. It's merely the difference between being in a sauna all the time compared to sticking your head in the oven!

I have no earthly idea how anyone survived anywhere in the south in the summertime without A/C. (I suppose all of those high ceilings, fans and the wide hallways down the center of the homes to bring air through, among other things.)

But even so, it beats the cold and snow of the northern half of the U. S. At least in the heat you can still get out and about (especially with A/C everywhere), but not so up north. I hated winters when we lived in Virginia when my kids were little. I'll take the south or southwest any day.

Besides, there's iced tea and iced coffee! (As long as you don't get them at Starbucks, of course!)

Email me, Denise. We ought to get together while I'm here and talk about our friends in common. I was at Tammany Oaks last Sunday and got to visit with Tod and Candace and it was SO great to be there with everyone. Tod had an outstanding sermon in the first of a new series he's doing and the singing was phenomenal. I loved it. Tomorrow I'll be with my mom at Hillcrest, so that will be great, too. I always enjoy coming here and hearing the terrific singing.

Cheers, girls! Stay cool! Dee

Anna said...

Yep, electricity bills are outrageous right now. Everywhere you go people are complaining about it. We have Reliant, and they seem to be one of the cheaper companies, but our bill for this month looks like its gonna be about $400 as well. (you can view your bill online) Brand new house, storm windows, extra insulation...and we STILL have a high bill. 107 degree heat makes for high bills...guess living in Texas we all just have to learn to deal. =) And get used to LOTS of beans. LOL

jessica said...

My cousin switched to a company called Stream... I don't know a lot about it but she seems to think her bill has decreased. We live outside of town and the only electric company we can have is Taylor Electric... so far it hasn't been toooooo bad but I haven't gotten this month's bill yet, either!

Annie F said...

We were getting $300 bills in the summertime until we bought a new a/c (we had to, it went out and it wasn't cheap), heater and insulated the attic. Since then the highest bill has been under $200. We also just switched to Cirro Energy because they give a portion of our bill to The Rich-Tones. Anyway, another link to find energy companies is www.powertochoose.org . I know there are plenty of other things we can do but unfortunately they all require money. Here is another link from msn: http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/SaveMoney/25cheapWaysToKeepYourHouseCooler.aspx