Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Electric Company

Yesterday I happened upon a Twitter chat instigated by the White House. They asked Tweeple (that's Twitter lingo for Twitter users) to post, in 140 characters or less, what $40 dollars means to them.

Assuming the White House is ostensibly collecting posts to use in their fight with Congress over the passage of economic relief bills, I post this in reply:

One of the ways Twitter works is people follow hashtags to track global conversations. So, apparently at least 30 people tracking the #40dollars conversation saw my post. And they responded in one of three ways:
  • So jealous of your low electricity bill
  • You must be lying about your low electricity bill
  • Vote Republication to keep your electricity bill low.
This morning I sent the following tweet to 29 people:

And STILL I got what my youngest sister calls "guff." The gestalt? More "You must be lying about your electric bill" or I obviously live in a developing nation.

Neither is true. Here's proof:

Our electric bill hovers around $40-$65 per month. Why?
  • We use compact fluorescent bulbs
  • We have a new fridge and dryer - both of which are energy star rated
  • We are a tiny family of two (+ a cat, who doesn't use any electricity to speak of)
  • We turn off lights we aren't using
  • We have (expensive) oil heat
  • Our town manages our electric company; we aren't dependent on National Grid, NYMo, insert evil electric company name here.
I'm sure there are other reasons why our electric bill is so low. And I'm tired of justifying it to strangers.

Here's my takeaway:
  • I'm grateful my electric bill is low. It makes high bills (like my student loan payments) more bearable.
  • Municipally-managed electricity is probably better than for-profit concerns.
  • If (or when) you can afford to upgrade, buy energy efficient appliances. It makes a difference.
I hope this is sufficient to stem the tide of cranky Tweets swimming in my stream.

Now go out there cranky people. Conserve energy, be frugal, and stop berating me (and anyone else) for lying just because you don't believe something someone said.

1 comment:

Meg said...

Why are people SO FRIGGING WEIRD? Why would you pause to take exception to someone's low energy bill or assume a conspiracy of lies?

People seem to be dying to be bent out of shape about something... so why not freak out at, say, actual injustice?

My energy bill last month was 35 bucks, and I AM with the evil empire of NSTAR. Energy efficient bulbs, high efficiency appliances, being out of my home for 12 hours a day with nothing left on... it's possible.