In March, as hubby was paying the bills, he called me and said, our electricity bill had increased for the past 3 months by 90% ! EHEN! That is 4 much o! I exclaimed! 'Please, check around the house to see what we are using that is consuming so much'.This was because, when he checked the average electricity bill in the same area, ours was too high! He checked the days we used electricity most, it was weekends. He later asked his friends what they pay, it was lesser than ours!
I googled the peak periods of electricity usage, the best time to do laundry and how to reduce the cost of electricity in homes. In December, the Christmas light was on outside until January. I don't use the dishwasher, the heater was on 24/7 during winter, I seldom use the oven, I cook stew, soup and do the laundry on weekends. So, what could have triggered off our bill to such amount? I walked into the garage ... could it be the deep freezer I moved from the kitchen to the garage in November, and connected to the main outlet? I remembered in my former apartment, the janitor told me it consumes a lot of electricity and advised me to be switching it off for some hours to save on my electricity bill.
So, I un-plugged the freezer, moved it back to the kitchen. My daughter then told me the washing machine was using hot water. Then I remembered! In January, the washing machine had a little problem, which I fixed and turned the hot water valve on! So, I turned it off. I changed the days of doing laundry;The boys on Fridays, girls on Sundays, and ours on Mondays. Before, the kids do ALL, on Saturday, from dawn to dusk! I monitored the minutes my kids leave the dryer on ... many times they turn the knob to 80 minutes! I told them to switch off the air vents in the bathrooms after a short while (no windows) than leaving it on for hours, and put off any of the Tv they were not watching at the moment, and switched off fans when it becomes cool. I unplugged laptops, chargers and microwave when not in use. I now prepare my large pot of stew and soup on weekdays.
YAY! Our effort paid off! This morning, hubby paid much lesser! The 90% difference can buy 2 weeks groceries! This is one of the realities of living in yankee o! By the time we add water, sewage, disposal, internet, mobile devices, rent, insurance, credit cards, and asundry ... yeah, your guess is as good as mine! Wetin come remain for salary abi? Like I have said before, the higher you earn ... complete it o jare. You see why most people credits are messed up or are in pile of debts? Anyone that tries to play 'ten-ten' or 'pakolo' or 'suwe' with their bills have their services terminated after a letter of notice ... no 'abeg oga', as we do in 9ja!
Some people with similar house, family size and devices, pay half of what we just paid. This is because during day, nobody is at home until in the evening when they return from school and work. Unlike mine, I work at night, and I am home during the day with my baby, until my other kids return from school and hubby from work. I am using the laptop now and the TV is on. I have used the electric jug, microwave, electric stove (It is not called cooker o, it is called stove here,whether be it gas, kerosene or electric, all na stove!), and I just finished my laundry which I started yesterday night. You see why diasporas can't accommodate guests for too long unless they contribute towards the housekeeping?
It is all about trying to put one's head above waters. I heard a story about a host, when going to work, he would tell his guest to go sight-seeing around the city because he could not afford leaving him alone in his apartment, so as not to increase his utility bills! ADIOS!
p.s ;Written April 3rd.