Nothing Is Easy

Our electric company’s fee structure is one convoluted mess.

They have time-of-day plans that offer peak and off-peak hours, but one plan has peak hours (i.e., higher rate per kilowatt hour) from 4 pm to 9 pm every day while the other plan’s peak hours are from 5 pm to 8 pm, but only on weekdays. And one plan has tiered pricing based upon whether or not you use over or under 100% of some undefined baseline, while the other plan does not.

And both plans, on top of all that, have seasonal rates, one for summer (June 1 through September 30) and one for winter (October 1 through May 31). Summer rates are, of course, significantly higher than winter rates. And there are apparently special plans available for owners of electric vehicles. Who knew?

I tried calling to see if someone could talk to me about which plan would be best for me, but I kept getting a recorded message telling me how important my call was. After more than an hour on hold, I got tired and hung up.

Given how much I’m paying for electricity, there’s simply no defense for poor customer service. Trying to get a human being to answer the phone, much less to find someone knowledgeable to help, is like trying to go on a barefoot hiking expedition through a field covered in bramble bushes and lichen.

I’ve had it. I’m going to look into converting to solar power and go off grid with my electric company. I just hope I can find a knowledgeable person to help me zen my way through the maze of solar options.

Nothing is easy anymore, is it?

Written for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (fee), Fandango’s One Word Challenge (convoluted), My Vivid Blog (tired), Word of the Day Challenge (defense), Your Daily Word Prompt (expedition), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (lichen).

17 thoughts on “Nothing Is Easy

  1. newepicauthor November 29, 2022 / 5:09 pm

    You should write an expose article for your local newspaper and maybe that would draw your electric company’s attention to how hard it is to select the right plan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 29, 2022 / 5:26 pm

      Maybe I’ll turn my post into a letter to the editor.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ron. November 29, 2022 / 5:35 pm

    Oy. Headspin. Incomprehensible (for me, anyway).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 29, 2022 / 6:29 pm

      Pretty much for me, too.


  3. Sadje November 29, 2022 / 5:43 pm

    We also have been trying to do that but can’t find a reliable company. The excuse they give is that the exchange rate for dollar is too high so we should wait.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. donmatthewspoetry November 29, 2022 / 6:01 pm

    I paid a tax bill via internet 6 mths ago and have a receipt from the bank. Just checked the tax office website and they say I haven’t paid it. If I click this link they can tell me how much I owe. Click link and it says. “Error. We are having technical problems call back later.” Say no more. …….

    Ringing up to sort out a problem seems impossible these days…..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. slmret November 29, 2022 / 6:53 pm

    Oour trash company says they have a senior rate — when I called them to ask about it, I was told I have to take to their office a copy of a utility bill to prove I live at my address — I’ve only lived here for 30 years!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 29, 2022 / 10:01 pm

      Sheesh. 😖


  6. kajmeister26 November 29, 2022 / 7:40 pm

    You have the same plan as the rest of us in the East Bay, complex in part because it’s a hybrid between the old utility company and the new energy companies. Having analyzed it myself, I would tell you that if you have flexibility to avoid using electricity (air conditioning, dryer primarily) in the late afternoon, then you can go for the cheapest pricing. Businesses can’t, so they tend to have to pay the peak pricing. If you have flexibility, then you can sign up for “Peak Use Pricing” because you can reduce your use at peak. Depends on how much you can avoid AC in the prime of summer. (You might be able to simulate usage if you want to look at your account online; it asked me to reset my password, so I decided to have some ice cream instead. I don’t even bother calling because usually the person you talk to knows less than you can figure out. I try to balance my cynicism with self-education.) Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 29, 2022 / 10:04 pm

      Thanks. Things like this used to be straight forward, but these days you need to jump through hoops to try to understand what your paying for and how it’s calculated. Ugh!


  7. Nope, Not Pam November 30, 2022 / 3:39 am

    We’re talking about going off grid, but the initial outlay is exorbitant

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Eugenia November 30, 2022 / 6:09 am

    Cellphone plans are complicated, as well. What happened to simple and straightforward?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. pensitivity101 November 30, 2022 / 9:11 am

    We have smart meters and it is said the energy companies can turn the supply off at source if you get into arrears. Others are putting up customer payments even though they are in credit because of the hikes in prices. We are on a fixed tariff until October 2023 when we can expect our current payments to quadruple, even with the government’s price guarantee. I am hoping nearer the time that I can secure a similar deal wit our energy supplier as a fixed rate is easier for me to budget to.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. rugby843 November 30, 2022 / 3:15 pm

    Nope but you probably should research it well

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Marleen December 1, 2022 / 10:53 am

    Yeah… the solar options maze. Wears me out just at the thought. I started to look into putting solar panels up. Then I realized there was so much to know. I didn’t want to enter into an agreement (such as possibly with free installation) whereby I don’t actually own the energy produced at all times.

    Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.