Saturday, September 25, 2010

Electricity and Taxes...

Our electricity bill arrived yesterday and as I looked over the charges I was struck by the ridiculousness of the "additions" that were over and above what we paid for power in our little apartment.

Here's how the entire thing added up:

We paid $57.04 for electricity. Not bad considering the non-stop loads of laundry, a very old refrigerator that we bought from the repair man, and a large freezer in the garage.

Then there was the "Deregulation Surcharge" which added up to $17.22.

After that was the "Drought Relief Surcharge" which tacked on another $5.68.

Then came the "California Energy Surcharge" which is a mere $.21.

And last is the "California Public Benefit Charge" which takes another $2.28.

So the grand total is $82.43. $57.04 in actual electricity and $25.39 in extra charges.

Our phone bill looks very similar, which is ridiculous since we only have local in area calling. If a number doesn't start with out towns code, we can't dial it.

I was wondering if this is a "California thing" or if it's an everywhere in the US thing. I was leaning towards it being a California thing... So... Does your power bill cost nearly 50% more because of surcharges?


  1. It's a nationwide thing; I don't live in California. Our phone bill, electricity bill, and gas bill all have hidden fees. How does a basic phone bill of 13 dollars end up to be 23 and change? Still upsets me.

  2. Yup same here in Arizona, its especially bad during the summer when we use air conditioning and our bill is so high!!!

  3. We live in Maryland. Our electricity charge is $264.40. Fees including MD Environmental, EmPower, Gross Receipts tax, universal service, delivery charge and other taxes total $124.40. Grand total is $338.80. Almost 37% is fees and taxes.

  4. That's just crazy! I was hoping it was a bit of California high tax craziness!

  5. It's been that was with car tabs in WA for a decade now. An initiative was passed around 2000 or so that brought the cost of car tabs down to $35, regardless of the value of the car (which meant that if you had a new car you saved a few hundred dollars every year). With other additional fees it's really more like $55-60. I drove a much older car then, so before the initiative passed I paid less than $30 for my tabs.

  6. Ours tacks on things too... but isn't nearly that low. Not complaining though... since we moved into the house its around the 140's (in summer here). The apartment got up to 300 once in the summer and was never lower than 150's... usually 200 to 250 in summer. Yeah made no sense... Esp since we do everything we can think of to keep it down.

  7. Here in Virginia it's the same. Around half our power bill is extra fees.

  8. We have extra charges, but I don't think they are nearly 1/2. When we get our bill in a couple of weeks I'll have to take a closer look.

  9. We have extra fees and surcharges, too, but not nearly that much!

    Have you looked into Vonage for phone service? It's internet-based, and we pay $49/month total: local, long-distance, and to landlines in 60 other countries.


I love comments and I read every single comment that comes in (and I try to respond when the little ones aren't distracting me to the point that it's impossible!). Please show kindness to each other and our family in the comment box. After all, we're all real people on the other side of the screen!