On Almost Putting the Con in Con Edison

I will concede that temperatures in the upper nineties makes for a pretty warm summer day, despite things I’ve said in the past. The only reason I’m conceding, for the record, is that I saw our first electric bill. And it cannot be unseen, very unfortunately for my bank account.Mister and I didn’t believe it could possibly have been correct. $314 for a one-bedroom with new windows and what we assume is excellent, modern insulation? Sounds made up, Con Edison. And we told them so, three times. We talked to our neighbors, who told us their bills were only $113, and they have more square footage to cool.

Fully convinced our bill was a work of fiction that the Dewey Decimal System would file on the same shelf as Narnia, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and every horrible Danielle Steele novel ever written.Now, I rarely admit this, because I rarely need to. But…We were wrong.Apparently, setting your air conditioner on 78 degrees and rarely any cooler sucks up electricity like a Hoover sucks up dirt.

So, I feel two employees at Con Edison deserve a shout-out, although I don’t know their names. First, I’ll call him Steve, because he seemed like someone’s overly zealous and friendly uncle, I want to say thank you for giving us some cash-saving tips, which I will attempt to share an abbreviated version of here:

  1. Steal someone else’s air conditioning. Not literally, of course. Uncle Steve suggests window shopping, hitting the mall or coffee shop or taking your sweet time in the grocery store. Turn your air conditioning off while doing these things.
  2. Close your damn blinds, girl, even if you do love looking out at the Sound.
  3. Direct quote from Uncle Steve: “Wear less clothes.” (Obviously Uncle Steve doesn’t know about my no-pants comfort policy.)
  4. Drink cold water or lemonade. (But don’t stand in front of the open refrigerator while you down a glass.)
  5. Deal with it, ya wimp.

The second Con Edison employee we’d like to thank is someone I’ll call Sam, named after a know-it-all I once knew. Both Sams are pretty cool, albeit Con Ed Sam gave us some pretty valuable information (whereas Blast from the Past Sam often offered up mostly useless tidbits in an effort to prove superiority and to start arguments). See, while the other Con Ed employees were feigning incompetence in regards to giving us comparable bills in our building, Sam pulled up accounts for literally everyone on our floor. Sam is the one who proved us wrong.

I’m really only wrong about once a year, and Sam called me out on it. And for that, we salute you. You’re a true American hero. Now, please do something about that 11.5 cents/kilowatt hour Con Ed charges just for delivery.

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