Monday, September 08, 2008

Turn off the lights, and light a candle...!

Turn off the lights, and light a candle…

Teddy knew what he was talking about when he was setting up his romantic scenario, though I now believe that not only was Teddy being the romantic, crooning, baritoned Lothario…, but Teddy must have also just been dyam cheap, and was actually conserving his water and electricity bills.

This is now the direction that I am heading. Fire hazard notwithstanding, I am going to start lighting my fancy-schmancy-decorative scented candles and place them strategically around the house. I just hope that this does not back-fire on me if inquisitive neighbours call the police to report I am working obeah in my living room.

See, my electric bills averages CI$200.00 per month, and have only ever increased to a maximum of CI$400.00 in the summer months when I run the air conditioner. With central air in the bedrooms only, and my AC being on a timer, I just cannot the understand the more than 100% increases in my bills during the summer months, and of course, my vociferous protests have gone ignored for the most part, but for the other consumers feeling my pain.

Today, being the ever efficient (and reluctant!) bill payer that I am, I went to pay my electricity bill, which was in excess of CI$600.00 for July’s usage. I, knowing about (and being a part of) the recent hue and (out)cries from the anti-CUC Caymanian John Q. Public, and, knowing that I had no particular choice, went to pay the flicking bill, well equipped with my screw-face and disgruntled mumblings. Then, to further my general pissed-offedness, the customer service representative (hereafter referred to as “the Gyal”) tells me that my usage for August is in excess of CI$700.00!

Now, this is enough to make a body launch all kind’a cuss words and what not, for I want to know how my flicking electricity bill goin’ now equate to car, house and land payment!

Then, when I ask the Gyal for an explanation of the charges, she started a dialogue fraught with all kinds of impressive “kilowatt”, “megahertz” and pocket-hertz spiel intricately interwoven, and proceeded to look irritated when I interrupted, and tell her to start speaking English, for I don’t talk ‘lectricity.

The only thing that I unnerstand from what she say, is that CI$500.00 from the new bill, is for fuel charges! They want me to spend CI$500.00 for gas! And, would this then mean that only CI$200.00 from this new bill was actually going to line CUC’s coffers?

So, reasonable person that I am, after interrupting the Gyal’s programmed ‘lectricity rhetoric, I asked her to provide me with an explanation as to the kind of fuel that was being purchased and the purchase locale. If I am paying for it, I want to know what I am buying, and to have a better understanding as to what I am paying for.

Does CUC buy this high-class fuel from Texaco or Esso? Regular or unleaded? Can diesel work? Is it jet or rocket fuel? Can't they just add water? Did they comparison shop? Can I buy the gas from my favourite gas station and tell them to use that instead? I mean, I can get a coupon from the gas station, so this is actually my preference. My money can then work for me!

Then, because I interrupted her programmed customer service rhetoric with my thought provoking enquiries, the Gyal starts to st…st…stutter….and tell me that she can’t answer my questions. Everyone has to pay these charges across the board.

Well, I am fed up. As I now realize that I have the potential to turn into my father, walking irately throughout the house, turning off lights and bellowing “Lawd…’un’nu min’ de light bill!”, I need to take preemptive action.

Should I run a swamp-esque lake through my backyard, and harness water and wind energy? What about rigging up my own kind of solar energy thingy, for I sure as hell cannot afford for anyone to come and install any solar powered thingamabobs in my house. Maybe I should build my own personal wind mill in the back yard, or get back to the ol’ kerosene lamp days.

I am fed up with the CUC monopoly. We need to heighten the call for competition. Maybe then, as it was with Cable and Wireless, we can get all forms of energy-usage plans: residential, corporate and small business; maybe implement frequent kilowatt usage miles? What about energy usage circles like Sprint has? Maybe dole out bonus kilo wattage points to ‘loyal’ customers who stay with CUC’s draconian services at the introduction of competition. Implement fridge plug-in wattage discounts? Free CUC shares for excess usage, with the application of the dividends to outstanding bills?

I hope their marketing people are taking notes!

All this to alleviate my having to take some of the corned beef from my hurricane supplies, because my grocery money now has to pay the ‘lectric bill.

On that pissed off note, I shall now exit.

Ta ta...

'Fro.

Ginger








11 comments:

dellgirl said...

Hi there, just stopping by for a visit. I love your site, it is beautiful.

Utilities and bills...uggghhh! They drive me insane!! And, the customer service people are so frustrating when there has been a mistake on your bill.

Mighty Afroditee said...

^^^ Welcome to my world, Ms. Dell...; )

ms cute pants said...

That is just RIDICULOUS! I have been hearing a lot from people with regards to the unfair pricing that CUC has indulged in this summer and I'm beginning to wonder if they even reset the meter once they've done their reading for the month or if they just leave it running and let it accumulate for the following month. That would be the only thing that would explain why your bill is so high and why it keeps increasing.

It is too bad the CUC is a monopoly here on the island. It's to bad the government is not stepping in to do something about it. I mean look at Canada and the high gas prices where the government receives like 80% of the revenue in the form of taxes (of course they're not apt to step in to curb rising gas prices). Incidentally did you know that 51% of CUC is owned by a Canadian company named Fortis (nothing to do with the Fortis here on the island).

Afroditee, I hope you see some relief in your electric bill, because that is just insane.

Ruthibelle said...

Is the same crap transpiring in Jamaica! Everyday the news full of people demonstrating bout high light bill... the common question is 'how come?' (which is very funny, cause the phrase backfired from JPS ads meant to discourage electricity theft)

Monopoly is the devil's playfield and a consumer's worst nightmare. I agree that they should diversify and introduce competition. It is badly, badly needed, cause so much people can't a demonstrate/cuss/write-heartfelt-blogs-like-this-one over nothing...

mad bull said...

I not going to say too much on this issue still, only that gas gone up everywhere, all over the place people are complaining. Well, the electricity companies have to buy fuel too, and maybe its not gas, but lots of the time, its oil based.
Wind power? Hydro? In Jamaica and Cayman? Maybe in Jamaica, but breese only blow in Cayman when there is a cat-5 hurricane nearby, and Cayman has no rivers, etc.
Then there is the fact that these are small islands where the population is small, leading to less and less changes to experience economies of scale. I have only one bredrin at CUC, so there is no reason for me to side with them, people, Oonoo need to use less energy, or oonoo need to pay up! If you want to cuss somebody, cuss George Bush, the Iraq war, Afghanistan and instability in the oil producing Middle East, plus the rapaciousness of the oil companies and the crazy Arabs in Dubai and places such as that who are trying to touch the very Heavens with their buildings and trying to build Heaven here on Earth, sure even give a small cussing to CUC in the end, but realise that CUC has bills to pay, just like you and I.

Crankyputz said...

Let us now regress to time of reading by candle light...

Abeni said...

Girl,light bills are so ridiculous here as well. I hear people talking about 411ECD etc for one month with the surcharge being higher than the rates..Phew !

Cooldestiny said...

Girl, everybody complaining about the electricity bill. We had a few protests here in the last week of persons whose light bill had doubled and triples ... only to find out that it was an error and that we would get credited back next month. Now, I wonder, if no one had squealed, what would have happened? No one would have known about the error and we would all be shafted for that extra money. I started checking out how to go fully solar and that is going to cost me J$1.8M up front to be fully powered ... a wheh mi fi get dat from? I would have to sell mi body!!!

Stunner said...

We are suffering the same fate here in Jamaica. It's as if the more I conserve the more I seem to pay! I think this fuel charge is a just their perfect excuse to overcharge us. The fuel charge increases drastically every time there is a small increase in fuel, but I have never seen the fuel charge go down when the cost of fuel goes down.

Jdid said...

ok pardon me if i get this wrong but the google people say that a caymanian dollar is 1.29 candian so dat mean your monthly light bill of 700 is more than $900 canadian. is that correct or i missing something cause in all seriousness if that is the type of light bill you got i wud be trying to figure out between the mortgage and the light bill. lawd ave mercy

all dat fa one month light bill? juss one month? dat aint right. lawd!

invest in two a dem ol time home sweet home oil lamps girl

Will said...

lol... yeah... here in the land of the blessed the electricity company calls it the "fuel surcharge" and in the past few months it's been higher than the actual electricity usage... i no longer use my water heater because it is electric...

the real bitch is that we, theoretically, have two hydro-electric plants currently in operation that are supposed to take the slack off the fuel consumption... clearly they're not operating at peak however...

so anyway... in relation to your, particular plight: perhaps you could try to harness the potential energy in an unthrown high-heeled shoe? or maybe, just maybe, you'll need to start selling your tremendously maternal hair in order to keep sonny in the 21st century... the choice is difficult and i feel your pain...