It’s How Much?????????????????

After the shock of seeing the amount of his latest electricity invoice wore off, Ted decided that, in order to save energy going forward, he would start monitoring their usage.
He’d been earning good money until forced into early retirement due to ill health, but now what with the cost of everything else, it was time to take stock and instead of saying he was going to do something about it, actually do it!
The meters were easily accessible so every time somebody switched something on, he rushed out to see how fast the numbers were spinning. Sally was fast losing patience as it was becoming an obsession.
‘Read the damn thing every day by all means, not every minute!’ she said.
‘Do you realise how much it cost to cook dinner?’ he demanded. ‘The cooker is all electric AND you have a fan oven but only cook one thing at a time. It all mounts up. Why can’t you cook cakes at the same time as the Sunday roast?’
‘Because Ted,’ she sighed, ‘it’s all a matter of timing and cakes tend to rise, so opening the oven to take something out could result in pancakes, not sponges!’
‘Buy cake then!’ he shouted.

Over the course of the next two weeks, everyone in the household was living on tenterhooks. Ted was reading more and more about the energy crisis rocketing out of control and ways to save money.
‘Solar panels!’ he announced one day. ‘We’ll get the roof decked with solar panels and generate our own electricity.’
‘Fine,’ Sally said. ‘Watch the small print. Do we own them? Will we still own our roof? How much will it cost to install and how long for it to pay for itself? Just because we have the panels on our roof doesn’t mean to say we get all the electricity, and the offered reduced rates are not much less than the current tariffs.’
‘How do you know all this?’
‘I looked into it a little while ago. Look Ted, I agree we have to save money somehow. We got rid of the dishwasher and tumble dryer, and the only thing on all the time is the freezer. The kids don’t watch the TVs in their rooms anymore, and the 42 inch in the lounge is no longer left on standby.
I am making an effort with the oven by batch baking then freezing stuff which we can  heat up in the microwave. When using the hob, I’m cooking three veg in one pan. All the lightbulbs are now low energy, so we should see a difference in our next bill. I’ve turned the thermostat on the heating down two degrees and the water on the boiler down a degree as well. The kids are trying to outdo each other with the shortest shower, and Jemma is angry because although she’s got hers down to under four minutes, the boys are under three, but they don’t have long hair like she does and it takes the extra minute to get all the soap out. She doesn’t even use the hairdryer now, so they are all doing their bit to help. Lighten up……….please!’

When the next bill came in, there was a considerable reduction, but Ted still wasn’t satisfied and went round the entire house checking what was run on electricity and how they could save a few more vital pounds.
‘Don’t forget the shed!’ Sally shouted. ‘There’s power out there too and you’ve got all those power tools!’
‘A man has to have a hobby,’ he countered, but checked it out anyway.

The next bill came in and there was little difference. Ted finally lost it by going round the house cutting the plugs off everything not in use.
‘What the hell did you do that for?’ Sally demanded.
‘It’s the only way. And I’ve bought you a present. It’s in the kitchen. ‘
Slightly apprehensive, Sally looked at the box on the counter.
‘What is it?’
‘A camping stove, and it runs on cylinder gas. I’ve taken the fuse out of the cooker socket.’
Very quietly, Sally left the room and went upstairs.
When she came down, she and the kids each had an overnight bag.
‘I’m going to my mother’s until you see sense. There is budgeting and there is paranoia.
If you scrutinized the bills properly, you would see that most of it is down to the daily service charges so it wouldn’t matter how little energy we used, we’d still pay the same amount for supply to the house.  Oh, and if you want dinner, test out your ‘gift’. The beans are in the cupboard, but they don’t have the ring pull, and what a shame, the can opener was electric.’

Written for Fandango’s Story Starter 16th August.

After the shock of seeing the amount of his latest electricity invoice wore off, Ted decided that, in order to save energy going forward, he would…

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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13 Responses to It’s How Much?????????????????

  1. Nancy Richy says:

    This was a really entertaining, relatable and funny story! I enjoyed it from beginning to end. I wonder how Ted reacts whenever he has to fill the tank in his car; those prices are off the charts! Great story! 🤑 🤑 🤑

  2. Fandango says:

    Ted had a bit of an overreaction, me thinks. He might save a little on the electric bill, but at the expense of losing his family. Good one, Di.

  3. Nope, Not Pam says:

    This sounds like us last night, our bill went up $250, and this is with solar newly installed. Hubby saying it’s the fish tanks, I’m saying the brand new reverse cycle air conditioner. 🙄

  4. John Holton says:

    I know people like this…

    • Luckily my Hubby isn’t that bad, and we have reduced our bills as much as we can. Our electricity is only 23 to 24 kwh a week, so around 3 and a half units a day.

  5. willowdot21 says:

    I bet there are people just like that out there!

  6. Carol anne says:

    Lol! Great story Di! ❤

Comments are closed.