It's more than a house. It's an adventure.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Utilities: The Good and the...not sure yet.

Earlier this week, we got a bill for the utilities down at the old apartment. We've been out of there since the next to last weekend in January, yet our bills remained abotu even with where they were when we still lived there. Supposedly we had one month of "estimated" charges (February), and one meter-reading (March), yet even with the March billing cycle things seemed ridiculously high. We set the thermostat for 50°, and while we didn't have the water heater turned down, it's not like we were drawing anything from it - just keeping what was there warm. And the only electricity being used was the fridge and the heating system fan. So anyway...this bill, they went back and got real readings, and it turns out that we'd paid so much over what we actually consumed that this bill was for only $16! The final April bill should be well under $100 as well. There's the "good."

In the "not sure yet" file, we got our latest utility bill for the house in the mail today. We're on a budget plan, which in theory is supposed to even payments out over the course of the year. In reality, it means that you get socked with an extra charge every year to play "catch-up". This month, they informed us that we're about $140 "behind" - that is, our budget payments have totalled to $140 less than our actual gas & electric usage over the 3 or 4 months so far. This budget was calculated from the last 3 months the previous owner owned the house - she wasn't around much, so I figure this number was a little low. But saves us money in the early days of owning the house. We're now through the worst of the cold weather, and we now have abotu 2 months of very little heating needed ahead of us. Once summer really hits, I expect we'll just open windows to keep temperatures down, so our gas usage should come way, way down - and as a result, our budget payments should exceed our usage, and things should swing the other way for us.

Let's hope for a warm spring and a mild summer.


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