Saturday, July 7, 2007
"Do not chastise me for my resistance to your apathy..."
I received my first Entergy (gas and electric) bill this week for my new dwelling. I was stunned to find my gas bill was for $54.00. Why was the gas usage portion of my bill so high???
The following are my reasons for questioning the high gas usage...
Reason one: The last dwelling I lived in had a lovely big tub and a gas stove. Both of which I used pretty regularly. My March bill when the weather was much cooler, for gas usage was $11.43. I took at least 3 hot baths a week and hot showers in between weekly. Being much cooler then I also "cooked" more hot meals using the oven and stove top. Which was gas.
Reason two: My new dwelling is an "oven" for lack of a better description. Cute as a button, it is sandwiched in-between other shotguns with just a few feet beside us. There are no trees covering the dwellings so they heat up during the day when the sun is out. As a result, I rarely take a hot bath or even a hot shower. Lukewarm. I use some warm water when I wash my dishes. That is it for my gas usage. Everything else in this apartment is electric. My electric bill was for $18.14. Which is $10 higher than my last dwelling, but I use fans more here and the air conditioner on nights when it is too hot to sleep, I power up my laptop, use lights at night. $18 seemed fair enough.
Yet $53.85 for gas usage when there is no gas stove, washer, and limited at best gas usage?
Okay, so I found out that the first thing that I neededed to do is get an accurate meter reading. Entergy it seems, does not have enough trained gas meter readers, so they estimated my usage.
Here's how my bill was itemized:
Rate minimum $7.87
Storm Reserve Rider: .29
FUEL ADJUSTMENT $9.07 (more than my actual usage charge!)
Street Use Franchise Fee .91
Total Electric Charges: $18.14
(Note: Electric and gas FUEL ADJUSTMENT FEES are based on natural gas usage and natural gas purchased by Entergy to provide gas and electric service for its customers. Hey what's a "Street Franchise Fee?")
Gas Service $17.32
Storm Reserve Rider .46
ENO PURCHASED GAS ADJUSTMENT $33.38 (again, more than my actual usage!)
Street Use Franchise Fee 2.69Total Gas Usage Charges: $53.85
I called Entergy and they said they would have someone come out On Friday July 6, 2007 and do an actual reading on my gas meter and make the adjustments.
Next, I called my landlord and was told by his secretary that someone would come over and check out the hot water heater situation by Friday. This was on Monday of this week.
I called my landlords office today, Saturday, to followup. The book keeper who also fills in as the secretary on Saturdays answered. I found that throughout my conversation with her, she kept relating to my request to have the hot water heater checked to see if it needed to have the temperature lowered, with her personal responses to Entergy's outrageous service and billing policies. She would tell me of her high bills, etc. and that was "just the way it is down here with Entergy" since Katrina, and even "pre-Katrina" she told me "her bills were on the high side".
I felt as if her responses to my situation were being framed from her own internal experience of of what seemed to me to be "apathetic" and it felt as if she seemed to be trying to cajole me onto the "we all have to deal with Entergy" bandwagon and commiserate with her.
I was resistant and determined. I found that throughout the conversation I had to continually repeat to her what I wanted done. (Which she then asked me why I kept repeating myself to her.) It was as if a wall was up in her consciousness that made it hard for her to understand that I was willing to do whatever was in my power to rectify the situation. I felt as if she did not "hear me", and it seemed as if she was waiting for me to say "hey your right, we all just have to deal with the terrible service and high bills from Entergy". At one point she actually chastised me and called me nasty for resisting her attempts.
Taking care of myself and standing up for my rights is not being 'nasty'.
"Do not chastise me for my resistance to your apathy."