May 9th, 2006


WOOHOO!!!!! // life

I got my first SMUD (local electric company) bill!! YEE-HA, good times!! Now I get to pay a SMUD bill like all the normal people. I'm so happy! :)

What's interesting is to note how much of it is minimum standard charges I can't get rid of, as opposed to charges related to my usage of electricity. See, there's this "monthly service charge", which I guess means something like "pay us to keep you in our system", of $5. Then I've got the 100% option for Greenergy, 'cause I'm a good little hippy, which is $5.20. Add on city taxes and the total comes to $10.97. Not quite eleven bucks. Not bad for an electric bill, though! :)

I wonder how many months it is going to take for me to hit one whole kilowatt hour (kwh) used. I was thinking about that last night while I was putting together some food for lunch today. I mean, a KILOwatt hour! that's like, one THOUSAND watts for a whole HOUR! I'd have to leave my 10w light buld (love those energy-saving lights) on for 100 hours straight to hit that point. Thankfully, there's more than one light in my place. There's the fridge that was there before I got there and seems to allways be on. damn thing must leak cold air something horrendous to keep needing to turn on like that. and then there's the charging of cell phone and laptop batteries, that happens every few days.. and the stove, when I cook (admittedly, not often), is electric.. it all adds up, I suppose. I should probably hit the first kwh sometime before next bill.

this raises an interesting question, though. See, that whole "Greenergy" thing is a program offered by SMUD. it comes in two flavors, 100% and 50%. the monthly charge is supposed to go towards supporting construction of plants that use renewable energy and whatnot. And the percentage level you choose is the percent of your monthly electric usage that is supposedly "supplied" by plants based on renewable energy. total hippie marketing racket, agreed, but it helps if nothing else to show financial support for an idea I can agree with (much like the HOV-lane stickers on my car even though I almost never drive in carpool lanes (had to go out of my way to use them the day I got them simply so I can say I've used them once)). Anyhow, the issue is this. By not actually showing any usage, I'm presumably not pulling any energy from renewable resources, and thus SMUD likely doesn't feel particularly compelled to persue such energy sources on my behalf, do they? Should I start leaving a light on all the time just to show usage and push them to move in that direction? But then it'd be wasteful, wouldn't it? I don't want to be wasteful. At least, not overly so.

what's a guy to do...