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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Natural Gas Meter Quit Working

This past year I have been trying really hard to cut down on my utility usage. I am the only one who lives here and I don't have to keep anyone comfortable. I kept my heat low, 65 degrees at night and 68 degrees during the day. I huddle under an electric blanket to have extra warmth or build a fire. 

I don't turn on lights in the evenings either. I have a ton of candles that I wanted to burn down instead of throwing them away or donating them to a thrift store. So, I'd light my candles, put on some instrumental music and read my kindle at night or watch TV each evening in the dark. I loved the ambiance of candle light, music and reading a great book on my lighted kindle - it made me happy! 

Life it different when it's only you. If I keep my utilities low, then it's less I have to spend and more I can put towards my debt. I'd like to be debt free before I turn 60 and that includes my home.

When I received my bill in February it was $ 49.14 for the month of January, I thought, "Yea me" I am doing great at conserving my energy!!" Hooray!

When I received my bill in March it was $6.70 for the month of February. It showed no gas usage. I knew that I had a problem because I heated my house for February. I decided it was time to call Intermountain Gas company to tell them there was a problem. While I was on the phone with them they brought up my account and saw that my meter was replace that day because they saw there was a problem too. 

I was worried that now I had 2 months of billing that I would have to pay - Yikes! They told me they would get back to me and let me know what to do about my billing. 

I looked at my past usage and tried to figure it out. I knew it had been a warmer winter in Idaho and I knew that I had been conserving. 
Blue is this year and Green was last year. December bill was higher because we had a some cold snowy weather for November. 

After that, the January bill for December was down from last year.

February bill for January is where the problem started to occur.

In looking at the therms used 213 and 136 - minus the 52 therms I already paid for I felt I would have a bill less then $297. I was hoping it would be much less because I kept the heat lower and the weather was much warmer this year. 

They called me and said that my bill would be $274. I almost cried. But when the bill came it was $200.74. They should have said 200 dollars and 74 cents. I still hated the amount the bill was, but what can you do to prove it any different? 

Next time I see a huge drop in billing - I'm going to be right on the phone. Even though I would have paid that amount anyways - it would have been over a 2 month period instead of paying 3 months worth of billing in 1 month. I did it - but hated it. Now, it's completely thrown off my history meter. 

I always analyze everything to see how I can do better in keeping my costs down when I receive a bill. It also helps when I am budgeting out a month, I hate surprise issues like this. 

But, now I know what happens when you meter stops working - you still have to pay what they "think" you have used. There is no concrete evidence that you used that much. 

It's paid, now I just have to move on and not be angry about it. 

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