*I* think electric companies are constantly raising our rates due to a DROP in demand. That is the OPPOSITE of what should be happening. According to the 'laws' of supply and demand prices should retreat, deflate along with demand.
So why would our utility bills continue to climb in the face of reduced demand?
I think maybe 'green' works.. Especially well in 'this' economy. More and more Americans are forced or encouraged to search for 'cuts' to boost income.
We see it as a 'game' in my household. The object is to save money by being aggressively frugal, including being as 'green' as comfortably possible.
We compost, using shredded newspaper in the mix. The compost is for our garden and plants. Hopefully we save money at the grocery store and eat healthier by growing tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, assorted peppers, onions and fresh herbs.
We use 'green' in many many other ways to save lots of money. I'm not even going to try to list them all in this post because I'm too lazy lol
But I will say that one of our favorite tricks is to figure out as many things as possible that we can reduce our usage of by half. Anything that you can suddenly use half as much of as you were before instantly provides a 50% cost reduction. Cool how that works.. It's often stupid little things like paper towels but even those add to real money over time. When/if frugality is embraced as being both fun and profitable it becomes more 'entertainment' than drudgery. We delight in forcing the hand of retailers and often getting great bargains.
I think many Americans are waking up to the fact that living a frugal/green lifestyle is beneficial in many ways, including environmentally.
'Green' is Great ;)
However , there are others in our society who have yet to figure out how to deal with the effects of the green/frugality movement.
Almost everything 'green' that you do removes money from the pockets of some corporation. From making your own soaps and cleaning products to.. oh no.. reducing your utility bills through conservation.
Utility companies preach conservation to all of us. However, I believe, that any time and every time conservation increases in popularity all the utility companies go on a rate increase binge! They're not 'small' increases either. We just had an electric company increse in May 2010 of 13.4% and now, 3 months later, the electric company wants another rate hike of as much if not more..
This isn't how supply and demand is supposed to work so I'm not exactly sure what to 'call' it. So, for now, I have settled on 'theft'.
At any rate.. the money we save through frugality and debt free living allows us to live a very comfortable life on limited income. We eat what we want, go where we want and do what we want, within reason.
We're currently looking for more ways to stick it to the utility companies. We collect enough rain water for our small garden and deck plants now. We also effectively conserve water indoors.
But I'm wanting to stick it to the electric company bad. Ideally every time they increase my bill by 20.00 I'd like to decrease it by 30.00. I have a new idea right now that I'm going to try that might save a lot of money. Look into the past.. Do some research. Find out what people did to stay cool before anyone had air conditioned homes. Apparently they made it out alive..
This is 'war'. The utility companies are bastards and *I* am Ancient Warrior.