One of the scariest things about buying a new house was the mortgage payment. Of course it was quite a bit more than our condo mortgage. And I'm not new at this, so I made sure to figure into the budget things like oil, propane and water bills.
One of the things I thought about was electricity. The bill at our condo was usually anywhere from $30/month to $40, depending on how much we ran the air conditioners. I knew when we bought the new house, the bill would go up. We do have an electric dryer, and Hubby runs a de-humidifier in the basement, but otherwise, I figured we wouldn't really be using much more than at the condo. So I decided to use $50 as an average for our electric bill.
The first bill we got was a partial bill for $38. Then, the second month, we got a bill for $93! I almost had a heart attack. Unfortunately, I somehow got onto "paperless billing" and all they send you in the email is the amount. If you want to see the whole bill, you have to go online and look at it. And since I didn't have a paper bill, and didn't know the account number, I couldn't see how much electricity they were saying we'd been using. I pay my bills online through the bank, and the account number is *****'d out, apparently so no one will steal it.
I grudgingly paid the bill, whilst discussing with Hubby ways of saving on energy, ie, not leaving the computer on 24/7.
This month I got a bill for $134!!! WHAT??? Now I'm figuring something's wrong. They must be reading the meter wrong, or not reading the meter at all and just guessing. Or perhaps our resident mouse is having wild parties during the day while we're gone.
I finally called the electric company and explained the dilemna. She looked up my account by my address and gave me the account number. I told her I was quite appalled at how much my bill was. And she says, "Well, your last month bill was only $50." HUH? "No, my last bill was $93." She says, "That was a double bill, because you didn't pay the month before." Hmmmmm......"Yes, I did."
"Oh wait a moment here," she says. "Let me check something. It looks like your payments have been going into your OLD account." (aka our condo)
I had no idea that when you have a new residence, you get a new account number. I thought your account number would follow you wherever you went. I don't know how they were applying that money to our old account, since I'd closed it. However, the nice lady quickly moved the money from the old account to the new one.
And now, instead of having to pay $134 this month, I have a credit of $5.
I wonder how long it would have gone on before they shut off my electricity for non-payment?