60,000 homes in my province have had their power cut off in 2016

Wow, I am listening to my local news radio. According to the person on the radio 60, 000 homes have had their power cut off this year due to bills that have not been paid. This number becomes even more staggering because by law, in winter they must turn the power back on, to allow people to have heat in their homes, they can in fact only turn the power off in warm months here.

One out of five people in winter will have a power bill that will be higher cost then their mortgage bill..  Please stop and think about that.. higher then the monthly cost of their house payment..

And the real kicker.. the government keeps pushing.. save power.. save power, turn this off, unplug this and that..  but because we “the people” have been conserved enough that the regulator board says, you saved enough energy in a group way that we did not make enough money so we are approving increases.

38% higher power bills over the past four years in the power rate hikes.. not the use, but the base costs for those paying those bills.

They were talking about the fact that one third of all funds going from our  charity groups in our province are going to help people keep the lights and power on. WOW!

There is a national wide saying that is growing bigger and  bigger.. Do you eat or do you heat!

A number of folks have been talking about the fact that they are choosing to eat less in order to pay the power bill.. I have to admit that this makes my heart break just a little.. I work in so many way to help the local food shed, I work hard to increase knowledge in regard to ways to save food.

The big “news” from the government is that we are going to save 30 to 50 dollars as they have stopped a old collection fee.. we have had this happen.. we have in fact seen that 30 dollars less per month.. its nothing, a drop in the bucket and offers no relief. I guess if I am trying to be kind, 30 x 12 would maybe add up to the costs of one small condo or apartment bill.

One of the other things talked about on the radio is that the lowest income folks can no longer find small apartments that include everything, that now you pay rent and your power-heating bill.

When its brought to the government, they have one thing they say.. YOU need to use less power.. but when we use less power, we still are paying.. I know.. I have had a summer power bill where I used 28 dollars worth of power and the bill was still 200.. yup.. that’s all the extras they tack onto my bill..  and don’t forget that they add a tax on the bill itself, We have already paid tax on the money earned, and out of that Tax’s money, I pay another tax on it on top..  Sigh!

As most folks know we are very power frugal compared to the average person given that my power bill reflects the costs of a whole farm, not just a house. According to my power company, I am in the top 10 percent of the best savers in my area.

We replaced all the older things in our house, new fridge, new stove and new washer and dryer, we use the shuttle chef to help save cooking costs, we use the crock pots to help keep costs down, why run the bigger oven spaces if I do not need to, plus they are backups as well.

We run a very cool house, we keep the heat off normal until nov and we tend to have it back off in very early spring, normally I close off the whole upstairs of the house in winter and do not heat it at all, We have no AC, we use Ceiling fans and sometimes a small little fan and we use black out curtains for the summer heat and to help keep the warmth in winter but in the winter, we also use passive solar heat.

Thankfully we have been ok with the fact that most of cloths are dried on the line outside, that we make things in bulk and save on costs, that we put on extra layers and lap blankets and so forth as needed, that we have extra thick feather blankets and so forth..

We are also looking at moving more and more to wood heat for the house.. which has its own costs and time to be given to it.. but it will be so worth it in the long run

However we have a major game changer coming..  Operation Beloved BattleAx  (aka my mom 🙂

Last year my mom came in the fall for six weeks, she struggled with the cooler house and trust me it was not cold, heaters got turned on months early and it increased our power use for everything, laundry, showers, extra cleaning and the extra room heater, which while very good on power use, it was electic use but it made more sense to add a single room heater to the area’s my mom was then to heat the whole house. It increased the basic power bill by just over 200 for the four weeks.

Yesterday my mom said.. let’s have a ice machine like Big Brother Does. I stopped working on what I was and went HUH!? and then said.. ugh No.. I am not paying to have an ice machine plugged in.. we had a pause.. and I said.. really, Ice cube trays in the freezer.. I had to laugh a little.. but I know my dear mom needs little extra’s but on some things we are going old school.. we pay to run the freezers, and if she wants four  six or a dozen trays filled and frozen daily and moved over into a bag so she can have as many as she want.. No problem, that can happen but to add a extra machine that is used maybe once or twice a day max..

She will get as much ice as she would like, and I will keep the power use down 🙂 Win-Win

It did make my head stutter  for a few seconds though..LOL

Now after being honest on something that was both funny and a tiny bit huh to me.. my mom does need more heat and more cooling then we do. I think a propane fireplace in the new area will go along way, so will careful placement of windows, ceiling fans but I expect that for at least a few rooms we will need to consider AC for her

And we are going to be heating the upstairs as well as we are going to be building a Master Bedroom, sitting room and half bath on the main floor so that mom does not need to do the stairs, it will be on the side of my main old part of the house using my entry door off my current deck into my dining room-kitchen area.

So not only are we going to be adding in the regular costs of a third person, but we will be adding in heating the upstairs in winter but we are also increasing our basic floor space and we will be adding in AC for at least the new rooms.

I am going to find it a challenge and half to figure out how to use less power in other ways to balance out the bill.. It will be a mix of allowing time to figure out what the basic add in costs are.. I am expecting them but  I do believe that I can work with it..

I am up to the challenge of figuring it out..  How is it going in your neck of the woods? Do you have a ever increasing power bill? Have you been lowering the power use but still seeing the bill go up?

 

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11 Responses to 60,000 homes in my province have had their power cut off in 2016

  1. Lake Lili says:

    Bane of my existence is the electrical bill. From June through September our bill is around the $35-$40 mark for usage of the usuals (fridge/stove/microwave/small appliances/bedroom fans/ washer/dryer/hot water tank). By the end of September though it is starting to get cold (night time temps average abt 5C) so the heat goes on in the bedrooms and bathrooms but it is still abt 10C during the day so we try to get by with just more sweaters… but by October night time temps are below 0C and daytime is abt 5C… so the heat goes on and himself likes it warm, as in I turn it down and he turns it back up… and its that way until June. Further more in Newfoundland everything is electric, thanks to Churchill Falls (and soon maybe Muskrat Falls) we have all the juice we need, our problem is just an aging and overloaded distribution system. Propane and natural gas are a rarity because both have to be imported onto the island. So people heat with electricity or wood stoves (note: Santa never comes down a chimney here). You will find the occasional propane fireplace but they need electricity to run and so are not a good back up, and propane is often not available due to storms in the Straits of Cabot (if the ferries don’t run, the propane doesn’t get here and then food takes priority). So high electrical bills are very common. We save money by not having a land line or cable TV. Meanwhile I dream of a wood stove…

    • Thanks for a look at a different province and area in Canada. Glad you guys are able to get hydro from water. Here in Ontario we are caught between the coal fired ones closing (due to global warming) old power plants of the “go boom, mushroom cloud kind” and the push for new green power.. which has all of its own issues, both in terms of the wind turbines and the acres of solar grids.

      I remember saying to hubby when they said they would solar panel my barn that the prices they wanted to pay us for the power was not possible, unless they planned to do massive increases to the basic power costs, everyone said to me.. Ah, you worry to much Farmgal.. its just a government kickback to say thanks for investing in the issues.. no one says that anymore to me.. when all three rates are now double or more then they were when that came out..

      I hear ya, dream on, dream on the wood stove, its has its own limits and issues but its got a lot of good points as well

      • Global Climate Change me arse… Political smoke and mirrors, more like!! Stick the solar on the roof, out of the way, not on valuable farm land and take those industrial turbines and stick ’em where the sun don’t shine. What’s wrong with the smaller solar or the windmills that’ve been around for a couple of hundred years? The kind that everyone can afford, the kind that produce your own power locally and… Oh wait, if we all made our own electricity, then what would OPG & Ontario Networks Inc. do with theirs when they’re already selling off their excess at a loss to outsiders? While we’re stuck paying for the UBER-expensive “green power” contracted from industrial wind and solar “farms” at those really sweet locked-in prices per kW that you mentioned… There’s your new mortgage, right there. That “Debt Retirement Charge” that’s now been removed from the bill has obviously just been added in with the rest of the miscellaneous crap (delivery charges, line loss, maintenance fees and all that jazz):):
        Use less. Prices go up. Pay even more than before. *sigh* really? And not even a kiss…

  2. Yikes! That is rough to say the least. Both for you and Lake Lili.
    Here in Colorado, our house was heated by propane and terribly inefficient. The previous owner was paying $600+ a month keeping it at about 65F throughout the winter. There was no way we could do that, so we insulated the attic and then use two wood stoves to heat the main house. That brought our propane payment down to about $200/mth for the winter and we get all our wood free by cutting down beetle kill pine for friends and family. Luckily, electric is reasonably priced for us, which covers our kitchen appliances and washer/dryer, and the circulation pumps for our propane heat.

    • Thanks Willow Creek, It sounds like you have done well at reducing your costs, we will be upgrading a few things in regards to making the house more insulated when we do the reno, well, I should say the old cellar basement more, the new basement is good, we are looking at propane as well, including a propane fireplace for the master bedroom suite.

      Good to hear that it really helped you.. we do not get free fire wood here, you pay for it.. but its good wood and its locally done.

  3. valbjerke says:

    I don’t find our hydro cheap in BC – but here we are allowed equal payment plan (payments based on last years use age). I pay 145 a month year round – our biggest hydro suckers – heated water buckets in the winter. But before anybody says ‘oh that’s not bad’…. I have no washer or dryer, no microwave, no electric stove, no furnace. We heat and cook strictly with wood, and have a wood stove in the barn and the guest cabin as well.
    When my mother in law moved in to the cabin years back – we installed a commercial (but small) electric furnace that ran on 220 (cheaper). That promptly made a 30 dollar a month difference. Ultimately – we have found over the years – it’s all about what you can shut off/not use at all etc.
    btw: if you install a propane fireplace, be sure to also install a carbon monoxide detector. 😊

  4. Can’t put a “like” on this. Closing down coal-fired plants and changing over to gas was an unnecessary, idiotic political decision when all that needed to be done was go high-tech with the filtration on what we already had. Simple, cost-effective. Why couldn’t we use the technology that’s used quite successfully in other parts of the world that have better environmental behaviour than we do??

    • I know, we could have just fixed what we had but DEB, where would they have thrown investments into the growth in that way.. o wait.. how about because then businesses would not be leaving the province due to hydro costs.. opps that backfired in so many ways

      • There you go, NOW you’ve said it! There’s the real reason that hydro costs keep going up… Their Industrial customer base has been leaving Ontario for years, now Hydro is redistributing their costs to the residential customers in an attempt to compensate and 60,000 of those have had their power disconnected for non-payment because their income can’t cover it any more?? Time to rethink the Business Plan. Whatever new jobs are being created – bagging groceries and serving coffee – are not sufficient to support families in a country with four seasons.

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