Progress Energy Wins.

And not, I’d like to add, because of their superior intellect. Mostly because they just have more staying power.

So, last month I got a $250 power bill, and the month before that a $238 power bill. Determined this month to have a lower power bill, I have cranked my ac up to 78, turn it off when I can, raised the temp in my fridge, haven’t had to do laundry for the show I was running, and generally been more cognizant about lights and the like.

I really expected this to make a difference. So much so, in fact, that when the meter reader came by yesterday, I anxiously awaited my eBill (yes, I am a geek, and not ashamed to say so). So, when I got the e-mail this morning I couldn’t wait to see how much of a difference I had made in my power bill.

Almost $239.

No, that’s not the difference. That is the amount I owe Progress Nazis.

I hate them.

Two months ago I had my ac set at 72 degrees and my bill was $238. This month, 78 degrees and 239 dollars. I can’t believe it; I call. I explain that I have a tankless hot water heater that I do not use, have my ac set at 78 (at their suggestion), and that I don’t understand how one person can POSSIBLY use this much power.

The gentleman at the other end of the phone… let’s just say that his god-given gifts are not of the intellectual sort… suggests that I set my ac higher (higher? Hello? Do you LIVE in Florida?) and wrap a blanket around my hot water heater. I tell him that my ac is at 78 and I have a tankless (on demand) hot water heater and it ISN’T- AS I EXPLAINED- HOOKED UP. The BREAKER IS OFF.

“Well,” he says “you certainly use hot water when you shower, right?”

“No,” I reply with what I believe to be AMAZING patience “My ac is set at 78 and it’s summer in Florida. I don’t NEED hot water when I shower.”

He then says, “you must use hot water when you cook.” Clearly, he doesn’t understand what the range is for and how to boil water. No, I say, I don’t. I don’t even begin to try to explain that most nights I eat leftover takeout or heat a microwaveable burrito.

So he then tells me my bill really isn’t that bad, that HE has an 1800 square foot house and his power bill was $400 last month… and (this is a direct quote) “I WORK for Progress Energy.” What, he gets a discount?

I opt not to explain that my house is under 800 square feet and, going by my current bill, if I had an 1800 square foot house, my bill would proportionately escalate to well over $600. I instead thank him and hang up.

I then crank my ac up to 80, borrow a floor fan from my parents, and hope valiantly that next month I can pay less than $230 for power.

What else can I do, start my own waste to energy plant?

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I write. I take pictures. I love my dog. I love Florida. My 2016 book, 'Backroads of Paradise' did really well for the publisher and now I feel a ridiculous amount of pressure to finish the second book.