electric bill

Saving on the Electric Bill

On a fixed income with expenses rising at our home we are trying to conserve energy. Meaning we would love for the winter heating bill to be under $200. Is that too much to ask? We have a duct system in the house that works with an electric heater. We keep the thermostat on the lowest setting just above freezing AKA all the pipes bursting.

Then we each carry around little portable space heaters to heat only the area we are working in. My handyman husband even installed ceiling heaters that light up like a search light and pour heat onto your head (if you’ve ever been in a hot air balloon you know the feeling. Toes, fingers and butt are freezing, but you head is melting. It is so hot I had to tell a friend (wearing a synthetic wig) to move wanting to avoid combustion.

My husband, ever the online shopaholic found a new invention that plugs into your electrical sockets and somehow makes the stream of (what are they?) ions re-loop and get used again before the charge is sent back to that great turbine in the sky. Needless to say, I have no idea what I am talking about. The last time I studied electric currents my science teacher he had us all hold hands and gave us a shock that passed through each of us. Too bad it was the 1960s, now I would have sued him for assault and attempted murder. I was not amused. I could have been a great engineer. I loved to figure out how things worked. But after that 9th grade exposure to the maniacal mad scientist, I left the field for greener pastures AKA anything that did not include electricity. Anywho, our bill dropped $50 this month, so maybe those special plugs are working.

In addition to controlling the room temperatures through the house via zone heating I am wearing long underwear from October to March. I remember reading that the Irish Pubs and cottages are kept so cold you might want to sleep in your wool sweater. So with long underwear, cotton turtleneck and cotton leggings I then put on my outer clothes of jeans and an Irish woolen sweater. And that is for inside the house. I wear a huge XXL (I’m a size 8) puffy windbreaking coat for the outside and a woolen hat.

I learned about the hat when I visited St. Petersburg one January. Folks wore huge silver fox hats and very thin coats and not gloves. I thought they were too poor to own anything but the one hat. Well, I bought those big fury hats that made me look like a Q-tip. And guess what? I was so hot I walked down the street with my coat open and no gloves. Guess it’s true 90% of your body heat escapes from your head. So in the poem “The Night Before Christmas” that part that says, “And Mama in her kerchief and I in my cap” that was what people did, they wore night headgear. That part and throwing up the sash had always puzzled me.

Looks like I have my next Ralph Kramden brainiac idea to become a millionaire…Senior Bedgear-Headgear. Thinking maybe psychedelic fur and tie-dyed elastic chin straps to hold it on.

My last idea is to eat only cold meals. Cooking is so overrated. I can buy a roasted chicken and make a salad. Okay, just another 29 or so menu ideas and I am home free with a low electric bill.

Sally Franz and her third husband live on the Olympic Peninsula. She has two daughters, a stepson, and three grandchildren. Sally is the author of several humor books including Scrambled Leggs: A Snarky Tale of Hospital Hooey and The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Menopause

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