Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Another Hot Day

It was another hot day, today, but with a high of 96F, it was almost 10 degrees cooler than it was yesterday.   I kept the windows closed and the drapes drawn for the most part, to keep the house cool.  But there is one member of the household who still enjoys catching a few rays:

Sunbathing

I open the drapes at this one window for the plant; it is Dancer's favorite spot in the morning:

"Do you mind?  I was sleeping"
I spent the better part of the day doing office work.  But I took a break from work to wash all the dishes that had piled up and to wipe the kitchen counters and stove top.  The counters have stayed clear for the most part, I am happy to say.  I also called my doctor's office and left a message for my doctor regarding one of my medications.  And I spoke with my daughter's doctor's office.

Later in the evening, I took a short nap and then, took the car for a drive.  After I came home, I watched Dancing with the Stars and video chatted with my daughter.  I also listened to some music.  :)

My monthly gas bill came in:  $19.78; I like the summertime gas bills.

The water and power bill (bi-monthly; for the period 7/19/16 to 9/16/16) came in, too:  $246.36; broken down as follows:
electric = $94.09 for 597 kWh (out of 1,000 kWh at Tier 1 rates of $.14/kWh + 10% city tax + State energy surcharge)
water = $55.33 for 12 hundred cubic feet (out of 16 HCF at Tier 1 rates of $4.61/HCF)
sewer = $24.10
solid waste (trash collection) = $72.84 

In comparison, the previous water and power bill (for the period 5/18/16 to 7/19/16)  was $277.39 ( electric = $89.57; water = $63.17; sewer = $50.62; solid waste = $74.03).  I used less electricity last billing period (584 kWh) and the charge per kWh was less at $.13/kWh (plus city tax and State energy surcharges).  I used the same amount of water (12 HCF), but the charge was higher at $5.26/HCF.

The sewer charge is based on the amount of water used during the winter, when we are least likely to use water for irrigation (since winter is supposed to be our rainy season) plus a "dry winter" surcharge added.  But the previous billing period's sewer charge was based on 12 HCF of water usage, using two different rate (one rate for the first 43 days; a second, higher rate for the last 19 days) while the current bill seems to be based on 5 HCF of water use.  I am very confused, but I took a quick look at prior bills to compare and it seems that sewer charges fluctuate from one bill to another.  I seem to stay at or around the same amount of electricity usage from billing period to billing period; water usage fluctuate depending on season and how often I water the garden, and the trash fees remain more or less the same.

I generally budget $150/month towards the water and electric bill, so as long as the bill stays under $300, I am fine. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- a slightly cooler day
- keeping the kitchen counters clear
- my neighbor bringing in my trash cans for me
- an afternoon nap
- video chatting with my daughter; she shared a new recipe (for honey sesame chicken) with me  :)

Wednesday's To Do List:
- office work
- put away washed dishes
- try the new recipe daughter shared
- water the front garden
- clean my bathroom
- water the indoor plants

How was your Tuesday?  What have you planned for Wednesday?

14 comments:

  1. We pay our sewer bill based on water consumption also. Unfortunately we are paying for some rather unfortunate and illegal "deals" that made our county commissioners temporarily wealthier and less temporarily jailbirds. Now our sewer bill is roughly 1 1/2 times to double the amount of the water bill. And THEY wonder why we have no respect for politicians.

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    1. Oh, dear! I am sorry to hear that! On some of my bills, the sewer charges were almost as much as the water charges, but I don't think I've ever had a sewer charge exceed the water charge.

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  2. Your water bill seems bewildering. We just get one static bill and I am very grateful. Your gas and electric seem a lot less confusing, though. I'm glad it's getting less hot there

    Those pics of Dancer are beautiful. I love seeing cats enjoying the sun. They seem so focused on the pleasure of it. x

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    1. The gas bill is fairly straight forward: we have a baseline of 15 therms that we are charged at a certain rate. Anything over the baseline of 15 therms is billed at a higher rate per therm. I have a gas stove/oven, a gas clothes dryer, a gas water heater (which is located outdoors for earthquake safety, per code requirements), and a gas heater. I have no problem staying under the 15 therms baseline during the summer, since I don't use the heater and the clothes dryer and rarely use the oven when it is warm. I used 12 therms this billing period and 10 therms the previous billing period. I like a warm house in the winter, so I go WAY over the baseline in the amount of therms used in the winter and my gas bill soars then! But, it is one of my luxuries - I'll gladly go without a/c in the summer but I want it warm in the winter.

      The electric bill, too, has tiers - the first 1,000 kWh is tier 1 and billed at the lowest rate; the next 1,000 kWh, is tier 2 and billed at a higher rate, and so on. There are a total of 4 tiers.

      The water bill is further complicated by the drought and mandatory cut backs. The 16 HCF of water I am allocated at tier 1 is half of the 32 HCF I used to be allocated at tier 1 a few years ago, before the drought. I do understand the need to cut back, so I am not complaining.

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    2. I've heard that California is one of the most drought aware and drought prepared places in the world, and I guess your water bill shows that. There is no shortage of water here at the moment! The energy bills in the UK are notoriously complicated, there have been Government enquiries. I just try and use less. I agree - a warm home in winter is worth a few sacrifices. x

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    3. We do have a lot of experience with managing under drought conditions. The majority of household water usage is for irrigating the landscape. The current drought has persuaded a lot of us to turn to more drought-tolerant gardens.

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  3. Sunbeams are like magnets for cats. My cats stretch out just like Dancer when they are basking in one. In fact Dancer looks a lot like my cat, Leo, in his morning sunbeam.

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    1. One would think that when it is so hot he would avoid the sun! But no, he wants his morning sunbath!

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  4. LOL, I always wonder why our cats, with their very furry coats, insist on sleeping behind the sliding glass door in full sunshine in Florida in the summer (and other months too). I'm always concerned that their fur will catch fire!

    I love the pictures of Dancer today, he's such a cutie!

    Our sewer charges depend on our water charges as well. We have one of those wireless counters so you'd think it'd be more accurate than someone reading a meter, however our bills always seem to hover around the same ROUNDED amounts, which really irks me. I'm sure there are shenanigans going on but I don't feel like taking on the Utilities department. We already have scandals going on with our Police Chief, our City Manager, etc. Ugh.

    Is your daughter sick that you had to talk to her doctor? I hope not.

    Take care, Bless, I hope the temperatures get a little lower for you. Soon you'll be enjoying the AC in your office!

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    1. Cats just love the sun, I guess.

      No, my daughter is not sick, but she is in the process of switching to a doctor up in Berkeley and she needed to have some copies of her medical history faxed to the new place.

      Thank you, Nathalie. You know I'll be freezing when I do go back to the office because they keep it so cold! It's not just me, either; everyone else complains, too!

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  5. I'm beginning to think that all cats body temperatures seem to run on the cool side since they all seek out heat no matter how hot it may be. ;) My Rufus (aka Doofy) likes to curl up on hot afternoons inside the carpeted cat house my hubby built. It is nice and cozy warm in there. :)

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    1. Oh, that cat house sounds nice! I'm sure Rufus enjoys it in there. :)

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  6. it seems you live in Asia because it is the hotter continent .i am from Pakistan where fan and a.c are still on ,though northern parts are cooler.
    your cat found perfect place to relax.
    bills are horrible ,but here water bills are take on yearly bases and are so less hope will remain same .best you did to take a drive so nice to refresh your mind and soul

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    1. Hi Baili, I am originally from Asia, but live in the United States, now. Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. Hope you have a lovely day.

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