18 August 2010

This Date in History

That is perhaps an overly dramatic title for a post about nothing more than the fact that I found our 2006 utility bills from the condo and want to do a compare/contrast exercise.

(What's that, you say? You're questioning why we still have our 2006 utility bills? I grant you that we're a little behind on purging files (although I shredded 2004 shortly after we moved in), but the bottom line is that each year's files take up roughly as much space as a shoebox, so there's not much downside to keeping them longer than I expect to need them...and the upside is that I have useful information for occasions like this. And I'll have you know, dear skeptical reader, that this is the second time I've gone searching in 2006 since we moved in -- the first time was for documentation for an amended tax return.)

So here we go. Our billing cycle in the condo was about two weeks off from our new utility account, so I'll share the numbers from the two closest cycles to the dates of the bill I received yesterday (which totaled $123, including $65 for electric service). In July and August of 2006, our bills (which, since we were living in a condo and had a gas water heater, didn't include water, trash service, or powering the water heater) came to $131 and $123, including $118 and $111 for electricity, respectively. (Complicating the math is the fact that there's also a $6/month customer charge, which doesn't scale down if we use less energy...so the numbers are really $59, $105, and $112.) Interestingly, the "energy charge" per kilowatt hour of electricity has not changed since 2006, but the "fuel charge" has increased from .03634 to .03653 per kwh, so the difference in usage (versus dollars) is ever-so-slightly more pronounced: 699 kwh last month, compared with 1090 kwh and 1157 for about this time of year in 2006.

Wow, I feel like I just wrote a story problem. First person to get the correct answer wins a fantastic prize. Or gets out of study hall for a week.

But seriously, the only equation I'm concerned about right now is this one: two-thirds the electricity for twice the square footage equals one-third the electricity per square foot. Equals good for our world and everyone living in it.

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