Ever wonder what happens to folks who flunk all math and logic classes? They work at the gas company talking with customers about their bills.
I called and talked with a young man, and told him “My gas bill is 40% higher than it was last month, even though the weather was about the same and my doors remained sealed almost constantly instead of last month when I let my old dog, God rest her soul, out 15+ times every day.”
“Well,” he said, “your bill is much lower than it was last year this time (down 103.2 therms from last February’s bill.)”
I said “I know this, I’ve been working on lowering my gas usage.”
“Well, it is down from this time last year, so your meter must be right – it went down.”
Well, no, let’s look at similar weather from January’s bill to February’s bill – same weather (more or less), less heat loss from open doors, 40% increase in usage. Something is wrong.”
“But, your bill is down from last year – and you need to look at it from the same month to the same month to see any changes, and your bill is down.”
Repeat of my statement of 2 paragraphs above.
He repeats his statement about comparing February to February.
This is getting nowhere fast.
Do you have a audit department?
We have a High Bill Department, but your bill is down from last year, so your bill isn’t high.
What CAN we do?
“Our meters are read electronically, I could have someone go to your house and read the meter and make sure it is correct.”
“The report should be in the system by March 10th – call back then.”
In the mean time, I did learn about “Degree Days” which is something found on my bill and relates to how cold it was during the time of the reading. “Heating degree days are summations of negative differences between the mean daily temperature and the 65 degree base.” What that means is that if the mean temp of a day in St. Louis is 20 degrees – this one day has 45 degree days attached to it (-[20-65]).
Here’s the thing… the difference in degree days was 25. From 959 to 984 – an increase of 2.6%. My therms usage went up 40%.
We’ll see what the meter check shows… but, GRRRRRRR just the same!