Monday, July 6, 2009

House Keeping

The other side to being a stay at home parent is the fun of dealing with all the home maintenance and bills.  It seems completely reasonable that the parent at home has time to talk to the cable guy, deal with the energy people and hurl insults back and forth with the telephone and insurance brokers.  After all, adult contact is ideal....

Either that or it is a pain to make time when you can hold an un-interrupted adult conversation and keep track of different billing systems, rate changes and payment plans.  Most recently, I found time to delve into the problem of why I kept getting really low energy bills.  These energy bills successfully timed themselves with the installation of our new furnace, so in a way, my interest was not entirely piqued by the first couple low charges.  When replacing a thirty year old appliance with an energy star and non-soot clogged device, one expects to see changes. 

Somehow I do not think that my energy charges over the last three months totalled only eighteen dollars.  Correct!  Close examination of my online statements revealed that my meter reading was exactly the same for the last three months. In true Mommy fashion I took a break to start a movie for the children.  The one before that only showed 15 kwh of use.  Perhaps my husband installed solar panels without my knowing it. 

I doubt very much that I could miss enough solar panels to generate power for our household.  We do not make it over the 1000 kw use very often, but we come close.  The polite people at consumers energy informed me that they would send someone out immediately to deal with the problem.  While she answered what immediate meant, I covered the mouth piece to inform Cora I could not watch Mulan with her because I was dealing with boring stuff on the phone. 

Immediately means within twenty four hours.

Then, hoping to leave me with a happy impression, I was informed that I could expect to receive a bill for the estimated energy usages for the last four and a half months, based on what they could wring out of the now defunct meter, and a review of my account.  Mulan ends and Cora dances into the kitchen.  The only happy thing I could get out of this statement was a mental picture of a maintenance guy torturing the energy meter.  Great.  When I get the worlds largest energy bill in July, my monthly budget will jump up and down in celebration. 

Time to re-do the next six months budget with a catagory for the Energy Company Can Not Self Review Electronic Accounts.  I decide to do my own estimates.  Fortunately the Mulan disk has some marvelous music videos which buy me a total of 18 minutes minus walking time.  My estimates show a several hundred dollar discrepency.  I hate being honest. 

At least I will sleep better knowing that we pay our way in this world.  Perhaps I can help "wring" information out of the old meter.  Or just be given it as a loser prize to destroy with a sledge hammer. 

Mulan music ended and Cora trips through the kitchen on her way outside.  No.  Paying bills and dealing with services is not an easy task to do at the same time as watching small children.  It has its benefits though.  You get very quick service when there is a screaming child in the back ground, or at least sympathy. 

1 comment:

michigan mom said...

Being honest is good!! BUT... stick up for your rights too! You were doing their job when you let them know that the meter wasn't working! Go get them lawyer-lady!