Friday, February 02, 2007

Paying the Bills

Being who I am, means I like numbers so on this post I’m putting lots of numbers. Wahooo! With the end of 2006 I look back on the bills I paid. I’ve been plotting the my utilities for 3 years now. I’m trying to see where I spend my money and how things are going….UP! The big bills are gas and electricity so that’s what I’ll bore you with here.

GasNow the most interesting jump was from 2004 to 2005 when my gas bill doubled in the year-end total! I attribute this to the fact that I spent most of January and December in the States that year. Also I probably felt the weather was nice and didn’t use the heat much at all when I was here. Now my skin is thin and I seem to turn on the heat when it’s really not needed for a hearty Midwesterner. Now from 2005 to 2006 (both relatively normal years) my gas bill went up 12% for the year. Most of the year is identical except for the July thru September bill. This is strange as gas would only be used for hot water and cooking in that season. I don’t think there was anything different in my habits or visitors then. Maybe there was a spike in gas prices; I wish I had kept the receipts that show how much I used. Then in the winter of 2006 my bill went down 8% from the winter of 2005, which we all know is due to the warm weather we had up until a week or two ago.

Electricity is not so interesting but steadily going up. It went up 14% from 2004 to 2005 and 18% from 2005 to 2006. I can’t really see why it would go up except I bought that new big TV in June 2006 for the World Cup and I think I see a jump in the bill related to that, but then December of 2006 was actually lower than December 2005 so maybe the TV isn’t the cause. I could also blame Lori and Kent, because they were here in June and July during the spike in the bill, but after they left the bill didn’t drop until December. I like how much my electric bill goes down in February and March every year, no matter what. I don’t think the weather changes that much and then why does it go up in April and May? Those are the months I’m probably outside the most, no air conditioning, the days are getting longer so I need lights less, but still the bill goes up. That seems to go against a seasonal difference.

You might notice that the amounts don’t change every month that’s because the electric bill comes every two months and the gas every three. I averaged out the cost total cost over the number of months (so a 129 euro bill for 3 months of gas is 43 euro for each month). So in the end there are too many factors to try to make decent conclusions, I have visitors that come and go, times I’m not here, seasonal differences, pricing changes, and large billing periods. I’m going to try to cut back and reduce costs. After all I’m not the only one paying for this, so is our mother Earth. Also I wonder how my bills compare to others....


Annika said...

The geek in me loves the graphs! :D But.. but... don't you use any gas from April to June?

Jeff Gromen said...

I think he goes on vacation and then catches up with the next bill or the bill is so small that they don't bother. Either way I'm not asking.


Delina said...

We've started doing graphs for the electricity. I can't remember what they say. I'm cr@p at maths and numbers