My electricity bill is what?!?

1 Sep

Excuse me but may I ask when electricity became a bloody luxury item?

My electricity bill for winter is $1025! What the hell?

This is just ridiculous. Not too long ago a big bill would have been in the four-hundreds. And now that electricity is privatised it has become a luxury item.

So my clever strategy of getting up and down constantly night after night turning heaters on and off to save money obviously didn’t work. And we live in a small house. We don’t even have a dishwasher. It doesn’t make sense. How can we afford a bill like this? And electricity is meant to become even more expensive? How? Why? It doesn’t make sense.

I have three children and we have had the worst winter when it comes to illness. We started off well. I turned the heaters on for a hour to warm up their bedrooms and then I turned them off and gave them all extra blankets. They all got sick. Giovanni was first. He has the family weak chest. He got a terrible cold and I turned his heater on every night until he was better. My healthy kids stuck to one hour at bedtime to warm up the room and on particularly chilly nights I set my alarm for 2am and 3am, turning them on and off for another hour.

My husband and I did without. We froze. We shivered dressed like we were going skiing.

Then my husband became really ill. He developed a terrible flu and spent a few days dragging himself to work. As soon as he’d arrive home he’d fall into bed and I turned his heater on until he was better.

It’s was just a nightmare.

Then we all got gastric flu a couple of times each. The charming strain of gastric flu this year was so severe it involved twelve hours of vomiting, twelve hours of the runs, fever and lethargy. Our rooms had to be heated!

You’d think that privatising electricity would inspire competition. Perhaps not yet. My hope is that just like the price of flying, electricity prices are forced down by increased competition. I mean, it’s not like it’s become more expensive to provide electricity. If anything we should be better at it.

I know we should all be using less electricity to help the environment but as with everything that is ideal, my primary concern is my health and the health of my children and there is no way we can cope with another bill like this.

My friends have started texting me their bills and it seems I got off lightly.

Let’s get real. Electricity shouldn’t be a luxury.

If I can’t pay this bill, will they turn my electricity off? Should I delay paying the school fees that are already late and pay the electricity bill instead? Is it worth fighting it? Does the electricity ombudsman do any good?

Average families can’t afford bills like this. We are all working as much as we can, juggling bills, trying to keep our children happy and healthy and we’re just getting slammed at every turn.

Healthy food – expensive. Electricty – expensive. Petrol – expensive. No wonder many Australian families are living in poverty, forced to get food from charitable organisations.

I’ll be able to pay the bill but it’ll hurt and I will have to delay paying my son’s school fees. I’ll have to do a very small grocery shop that week (if at all) and now that Spring is here I can always pray for warmer weather (although on the first day of Spring we woke up to cars covered in ice).

2 Responses to “My electricity bill is what?!?”

  1. Isabelle Hall September 15, 2012 at 2:19 am #

    Check your hot water. I moved house (ex house had gas hot water) and my quarterly electricity bill went from $400 to $1100. And I’ve proved that the extra $700 is the large hot water system here.


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