One small benefit of not decorating was that our electric bill was considerably lower for December than it usually is! The biggest benefit to this we won't see until the end of January. See, there is a HUGE rate hike here in CT on electricity that started January 1. In our case, it is a 50% rate hike on the delivery!!! As a whole, this will probably result in about a 25% overall increase in the bill. (Our supply fee is about half of the bill, and the delivery fee is the other half - and that is the part that just spiked!).
However, we are on a leveled budget plan, so we pay the same amount each month, year round (currently it is $105, down from $130 originally - but the electric company adjusted it months back when our usage was lower than predicted). It is based on an average of the past 12 months. Our plan resets in January, so starting in February we will have a new budget amount. Since our usage was down overall, our average will be lower. Additionally, there is a good chance that by the time we leave, we will have a credit with the electric company!
Because of this, I am debating going off the budget plan, and just paying the monthly bill as it would be. The winter has lower usage than the summer (because of the air conditioning). And since we will be gone before the peak months hit, it may be cash-flow effective to just forgo the budget. I am "guessing" that the budget rate will be around $130....actual usage may be closer to $100.
Any long time reader knows that we pay out the nose for heating oil. Our current amount is $320 a month, every month, all year.....with a reset in August.
When we sign up each year with the budget plan, we also have to decide if we want "cap protection." For an additional fee, you are guaranteed to have the going per gallon cost on the day of your fill-up, not to go higher than your negotiated rate (this year it is 3.699). However, if the price remains steady or goes up, that extra amount you pay is a waste...because you don't see a true benefit. Typically the fee runs $25-$30 extra per month.
In the past several years, we have purchased the cap protection because the oil prices were so high, there was a good chance they would come down. Roughly, the rate would have to be about $0.16 cheaper per gallon to break even, and anything else would be actual savings.
Well, our cap protection hasn't yielded savings in past years, as the rate either remained steady or rose (we still got the cheaper price based on the protection). So this year we decided to forgo the cap protection and just do a fixed price.
Fixed price is the agreed price, regardless of what the per gallon cost is that day. It never goes higher or lower. And because who would have predicted that the prices would have DROPPED so drastically....we lost out on those savings. BOOOOOO!!!!!
When we did the budget plan in August, we hadn't received the offer for the new job yet, but we knew things were in the pipeline. We hedged our bets that we would get the job, and that we would sell the house and be gone before winter. Yeah....that worked out well.
We get a 2x a year water bill (May and November). November is always higher because of the pool, watering the plants, etc. But I choked when we got the November bill....$379!!! GACK!!! Our usage was up compared to the year before (kids taking more showers, and longer shower....despite working on this!! And more sewer usage...I will spare you the details on this one.....). But the rate also went up on this as well.
Not gonna lie....that bill wiped out our mini account where we save for these bills (that account also hold money for the 2x a year property taxes, and the 4x a year trash bill). Was not a happy camper. We will have our May bill, and then we will have a "settle up" bill when we move.
I am really looking forward to getting rid of all of this and replacing it with new utilities!! The electric bill will be lower, as the rate in SC is WAY lower than here in CT. Even with running the air conditioning...it will be more energy efficient than window units (and the appliances will also most likely be more efficient!) Oil will get replaced with natural gas (my girlfriend who used to live there said her gas bill was $62 a month....). Water...no idea....that one is a mystery at this point.
Anyone else have sticker shock on their utilities???