Our local electricity provider mailed us an informational flyer recently. They seem to have started a new program where they compare everyone’s electricity use and let you know where you stand in the rankings.
The last month’s ranking are deceptive, because we hadn’t turned the heat on much. The year-long comparison is better, because it shows our use across all seasons.
My first thought was We are winning! Our neighbors will never be able to catch up to us!
(Yes, I realize that lower is supposed to be better.)
I had many other thoughts next. I’ll try to make some semblance out of them and present them here.
2. I don’t care how much electricity my neighbors use. I use what I need, regardless of how much other people need.
3. We are a family of 6. I bet our grocery bill is significantly higher than average too.
4. Wait, isn’t the electricity company supposed to sell me electricity? Isn’t it counter-productive for them to persuade me to use less electricity? Is there a government requirement or incentive for them to do this?
5. That “Who are your Neighbors?” section is wrong too. There are not 100 nearby homes that have electric heat. Everyone I know around here has either natural gas or propane or wood stove or geothermal. We are the only ones with electric heat, which is obvious because the graph of the neighbors doesn’t change significantly in winter like mine does. Maybe the utility company is confusing geothermal with electric resistance heat.
6. I doubt the houses listed as “Most Efficient” are actually most efficient. They just happen to not use as much electricity. The utility is confusing volume with efficiency. We make good use of what we have, we just use a lot of it too.
7. It doesn’t really cost me $1707 extra per year, because the comparison doesn’t include those neighbors’ gas bills. Plus, maybe I get $2,000 worth of enjoyment out of my extra electricity. So maybe it’s a good deal.
I know we are efficient because our ranking during the summer months is right in the middle – and we are using electric oven and electric dryer and electric water heater and we are being compared with people who are using propane or natural gas.
But once the heating season starts, we will be ranked highest – 100 out of 100!
And your suggestions are nice, but if we really are $1700 over what we should be, a mere $300 savings won’t cut it. Do you have any suggestions for the other $1400?
Maybe if their campaign is successful, everyone will end up below average! That is their goal, right? Like the opposite of Lake Wobegon.
Moses also charged the people on that day, saying,