Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Its the Principal of the matter

A few weeks ago,  P was paying our energy bill and noticed something odd, a minimum usage charge.

Looking over it, I started to get a bit frustrated, because P and I are vigilant about turing off lights when we leave a room, running the washer and dryer during off peak hours, and using our heat and a/c sparingly. We have even talked about installing solar panels on our home in order to produce our own electricity, and then sell it back to the energy company.

I ended up calling the energy company 2 times the next day, and both times, the customer service representatives were extremely rude and completely unhelpful.  When I asked for an explanation for the charge, I was told that it was only $9.95, which was not much money, so I should just deal with it.

True, $9.95 is not much money, but for me, its the principal of the matter. The fact is that we work really hard, and will even be a bit uncomfortable in order to save energy. We will bundle up in the winter under blankets and jackets, and in the summer, we keep it warmer than we like in order to save energy.

The 2nd customer service rep I spoke with told me to "use more energy so we don't have to pay that charge."

After speaking with these reps, I was more and more frustrated. It baffles me that we would be charged a fee for using too little energy, and that it is almost like being penalized for being good stewards of our resources.

The bottom line, yes, the charge is minimal, yet it does not encourage me to save, conserve, and reduce my consumption. In fact, I am charged a fee for doing so.

Luckily for us, we live in a state that deregulated energy, so P and I are shopping the market and looking for a plan with a better rate, and a company that encourages and rewards its clients for reducing consumption.

Do you read the fine print on any of your bills? Or, do you do like I normally do and just pay them without looking to closely?


~Carla~ said...

Ugh!! Use MORE energy so you don't have to pay that?! Wth?! lol! Yes, I check my bills each month just to "make sure" as I've caught many things...

Holly @ Run With Holly said...

THAT is freakin' ridiculous. And anyone who tells me that $10 is "not much"...well, I could get more than one Chipotle burrito for that!!! Plus, $10 x 12 = $120/year! At the moment, that's about 2 spin classes (2 hours) of my time. Nothing to sneeze at, if you ask me.

If I were you, I'd be shopping around, too. As you said - your company should be rewarding economy and reduced usage, NOT charging you some sort of stupid minimum fee. GR.

Ashten said...

My electricity provider does the same thing! I overlooked it because I knew I would use more than the minimum each month.. I should start being frugal because my monthly bill for my tiny apartment is as much as yours!

Brooke said...

thanks to my under sized HVAC until and horribly insulated windows, i had no problem running up my bill to $400 last month. (yes, we keep our heat set on 62* so its not that we're greedy)

for our water, there is a minimum. it cost $20 no matter what. but then you get charged for usage over a certain amount. that makes sense to me. but this random "add $10 b/c we're not making enough money" charge of yours seems ridiculous.

Amanda Simple said...

That's so weird that they just add $10! I'd be calling every day and seeing if they could take it off. You shouldn't be charged for actively trying to be nice to the planet and your wallet!