Monday, February 19, 2007

How Cold Has It Been?

January 11 to February 12 (inclusive), a 33-day period, we had 11 days with highs above freezing, but 5 of them were 33*F and another was 32*F. 22 days below freezing. (28 below or just at.)

We had 12 days with highs in the 30s, 6 days in the 20s, and 12 days in the 10s. (We also had 2 in the 50s and 1 in the 40s). Keep in mind these are HIGHS; 6 days had recorded lows below 0, with another right at 0.

So how friggin' cold is that? That's 207 therms, aka "nearly twice as many therms as I have ever bought before," of cold:

And we keep our thermostat set at 63*F.

This raises two questions from me besides the main point of this post, which is to bitch about how it's cold and my utility bill is an arm and a leg this month.

First, I vaguely recall that "heating help" programs (run by the state? the utility? the county?) have limited funds. That 33-day period should just about wipe them out for the entire winter.

Second, could AmerenCILCO have gotten worse weather for its 55% increase in electric rates? It frosts my personal cookies that my electric bill shot up this month, the same month as I bought a record-breaking number of therms, but for folks who are electric-heated or who are struggling to get by, this is epic hardship. This is ideologues on the floor of the Statehouse proclaiming a food vs. heat dilemma of gargantuan proportions. This is cheap shots at Ameren (even without any legislative follow-through) becoming political gold.

But politics aside, what are people going to DO? Freeze, starve, lose the house? And is anybody with the power to help people on a large scale going to do anything to help them? Is Gary Rainwater (Ameren CEO) going to donate some of that $2.02 million compensation pacakge to help these people? Maybe even just that $0.99 million bonus, which he certainly deserves for the way he upped Ameren's profitability by screwing central Illinois consumers with a 55% rate hike. Now that vast quantities of folks in central Illinois can't afford his fancy electricity and are freezing, does any of that millionish dollars start to feel guilty, like maybe it ought to alleviate some suffering here?

S’ils n’ont plus de √©lectricit√©? Qu'ils mangent de la brioche.

(They have no electricity? Then let them eat cake.)


maubs said...

Mais j'aime beaucoup la brioche!

Anon E. Mouse said...

That's the problem with those store boughten therms...they never last as long as homemade.

journeyman electrician said...

I will be selling peoria & surrounding communities an energy saving unit to reduce their electric bills as much as 25%.

Guaranteed for 5 years.(will last 20 years)
30 minutes to install.

Comming soon. !!
Setting up business now!
Relief is on the way!