This has been playing on my mind.
About 9 months ago all the local people started complaining about the hikes in their electricity bills. Double and Triple their usual.
I didn’t have a bill. But I sympathised. And I got a bit anxious waiting for my bill.
Eventually I received an ‘estimate’ because Madam, you have a lock on your gate. Well yes I do. Apart from ‘Shed Theft’ which is up around here, I really don’t like it that anyone can just ‘turn up’ at our place.
And there’s the thing. This is MY PLACE. Not yours – not theirs – not anyone else’s.
So why do I have to leave my gate unlocked all the time? Why do I have to leave my home, my shed, my property unprotected (dogs chained up?) so that you can check my meter box without ever giving me any indication about when you’re going to be here?
Dogs on chains? Hold that thought.
So I get an estimate of my electricity. And it’s pretty much the same as I usually get a bill for. Well that’s scary! Everyone else is getting double and triple!
And I get a phone conversation along the lines of….Well you can have a lock on your gate, but you have to buy a lock from us ($19) and we will be charging any amounts that are over the estimate when we next read the meter. Well ok, so that gives me more time to save for the ‘extra’ whilst dodging vet bills etc? Right? Wrong!
So, I put the new lock on (but I’m not sure if I put it on before or after they were due, I’m sorry but I’m busy and don’t always stop to think at the front gate.) So, still no bill and everyone is complaining again. This is not looking good.
Eventually, I receive another estimate. The lock, you say? Nope, it’s the dogs this time! Now remember I said to remember about the dogs!
Previously, our dogs were chained up at the house water tank. One each side. With a divide down the middle under the tankstand. It’s the coolest place in summer. Cool under the tank. And it’s on the eastern side of the house. So really, the most dog friendly place to put them. Yes!
Except that the gas bottle’s are one one side of the tank. The electricity box is on the other side.
The Red Dog is on the electricity side. He’s a wuss. And obviously he looks like one because the guys love him. And check the box. Once the dogs were off lead and I heard a car pull up just after the school bus left. OFGS – who the heck can it be…electricity! Lots of barking then a BANG! and then the RedDog flies thru the bedroom door and launches onto my bed. OMG Mum, there’s A MAN out there! So much for my sleepin.
Sometimes when I’ve had a sick kid at home and been at work I’ve received a phone call. Someone came here mum, but they drove away again.
So….was it a ute with some green and yellow on the side? YES! That was Country Energy. Was it a truck with Purple and pink? YES! That was Elgas. Ok, so i have stangers roaming around my house when others are at home and I’m not. I just don’t love that idea.
I know I need to pay for my utilities. But I am feeling a certain lack of respect about my rights to my own property. I wasn’t exactly a Redneck when I came to live here………..but I’m starting to have some sympathy with them!
So then I get a notice that this time it was the dogs that stopped them reading the meter and giving me a bill for what I used.
Oh, please! I’ve moved the dogs away from the water tank, and put them along the back of the shed. The red dog is still a wuss. But must admit that Knick Nac looks pretty feral when she puts her ruff up. The wagging tail ………well I don’t know. Can understand them not wanting to chance it with her. But, hello? If the dogs are off lead then there’s someone home. Could be a teenager in bed, but surely you could manage to wake them up? Bip the horn? And if the dogs are on their lead – what’s the problem?
And so, we enter the 9th month…….we could have had a baby in the same time FGS!I
I was really starting to get worried. The Vet bills had piled up and so there was no savings for the ‘Gap’ between estimate and real bill.
I had yet another convo on the phone about locks, and dogs, and the courtesy of letting me know when they were coming to read the meter. Yes, it will be the 24th. Yes, although we are trying to get ahead because it’s close to the end of the year, so it may be like any time from the 22nd……..
Well, so long as you don’t expect me to tie my dogs up all week for you jic!
When we started the convo I pointed out to them (the new company who took over Country Energy) that ‘our old guy’ had no problem with the Reddog and it was only since they took over that this had come up! Only to be informed that our ‘old guy’ had just passed away last week.
I’m sure the Red Dog would like us to say RIP Old Guy – and you will be missed.
So I received the bill after they finally found the courage and the key to read my meter box. Funnily enough I have used half the amount I usually do, and half what they have estimated the last two times. So we only have a small amount to pay. Since I have the money taken fortnightly from my pay I’ll be in credit by January. Yehaaaah!
I’m still giving thought to solar/wind options, and I’m also considering candles. I’ve kind of got a thing about them making the least amount of money out of me that I can organise.
But it’s Christmas, so we will put some lights up – but we don’t turn them on much. The tree looks really pretty anyway. Just put the lights on at times so people driving past with kids can see the lights go on and off. I liked that when my kids were little.
And then we’ll tinsel the farm gate. Will I be allowed to tinsel the lock, you ask? Why should I ask, I say. I’ll have to show you the farm gate tomorrow.
Deck the shed with bits of wattle, falalala, lalalala. String the fence with electric tinsel, falalalaalaaaaaaah – oh sorry forgot to set it to the dog electric charge. I’m guessing that’s why they do the last bill at the end of November, so they run no risk from us Local Yokels with a warped sense of humour.
Merry Christmas Everyone who believes in it, and Happy Holidays or anything else to those who don’t.
May Fido keep the meter reader from your house.
May all your bills be small.
May the estimate and the ‘real deal’ be even smaller.
And if anyone has any idea how to build a wind turbine or a solar panel you may email me with the details. Please only ones that can be made from scrap at the tip.
May life be good to you, and your children even gooder! 🙂