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I Am Intimidated By Modern Life

It started a month ago when we realized that our electric bill was obnoxiously high. We made some adjustments, but it's still twice what it should be. So, we looked at last year's bill and found out that our usage (in terms of kW hours) is more than twice what it was at the old house. Which was the same size. And had the same number of electric vs. gas appliances.

I called PG&E today and the first thing the woman said was "it's because you have all-electric appliances."
Strike one.
Then she tried explaining to me that we have "what's called a baseline rate, which is what you're allotted, and if you go over that rate, we charge you a much higher price for..."
Strike two.
I explained that it wasn't the dollar figure, it was the number of kW hours being used. She said that she could investigate whether our meter was being over-read, and I said that I had no idea where our meter is, because it's not attached to our house. "Yes, it is."
Strike three.

I'm due to call them Wednesday from the house to see if we can't get this dealt with.

Meanwhile, the power in our kitchen is still out because we can't get an electrician. There does not seem to be an electrician in Boulder Creek (or Santa Cruz county, for that matter) who answers his phone or picks up his messages. I called one number pirateguillermo gave me, only to be told by a very confused guy in broken English that I had the wrong number. I called the number that was supposed to be his "office" phone, and a woman answered.

"Hello, I'm looking for Joe Smith from ABC Electric," I say in my crisp, businesslike tone.
"Hmmm? He's not here." The female voice on the other end of the line sounds listless and a little confused.
"He's not there, or I have the wrong number?" At this point I'm not sure. I would think that, having specified I'm looking for this person in conjuction with his business, this person would have offered to take a message or something.

Instead she hung up.

This is one of five local electricians we've tried, most of whom are working out of their houses (so their answering machines say "This is Joe, Mary, Betty-Sue and ABC Electric. Leave a message."). I finally called our realtor and asked her and she referred me to someone over the hill who sounded competent, focussed, and like he had a full set of teeth.

We'll see about his teeth on Wednesday.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 13th, 2004 03:08 pm (UTC)
Sounds like someone's pirating off your electricity, or there's some electrical appliance you don't know about. Do you have a well? thinking of that PG&E commercial... Maybe the electrician can tell you when he's there on Wednesday. Here's hoping he's got all his teeth ;-)
Dec. 13th, 2004 04:14 pm (UTC)
No well, but we do have this humming green box over our septic tank...
Dec. 13th, 2004 07:44 pm (UTC)
One of my ex-colleagues lives in Santa Cruz, one in Felton, and one in Boulder Creek. I've emailed them for a referral for you, and will follow up if I get a response. Okay?
Dec. 14th, 2004 08:08 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 14th, 2004 12:49 pm (UTC)
The humming green box is attached to the septic tank, and the humming is a little motor that feeds bacteria into the system (and for all I know, stirs it around like popping popcorn) and shouldn't be using up any more electricity than a refrigerator motor (which also runs 24/7) which wouldn't double our bill.

We do not have a well. I guess if we're thirsty enough, we can drink out of the creek. Or make do with gin.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )