Hopped out of bed at 7:30. It is a torrential downpour outside. People slow-jogging/running to their cars. A forgiving 67F outside, so when the downpour stops, I will make my way to Schnucks (to buy NOT soda!).
I also got an e-mail from Ameren (electric co) to opt-in for a rate change, which included taking a quiz on energy usage, which I completed and it suggested I enroll in the Summer/Daytime Savers rate, but everything on their rate selections showed nothing of similar language, so I didn't know what to choose, so I just left everything the same :/
My elec bill is $137 this month, by the way. For a 430 sq ft apartment. THAT is how badly insulated this joint is! The window/sliding glass door is plenty fine - tapered, Energy Start Certified glass and "sealants" (or whatever thickened "rubberology" they use to secure window-to-frame, haha). And I use energy-saving lightbulbs (albeit "Daylight" bulbs, which produce maximum brightness, because I do not want to live in a dungeon), and I have, like, three things plugged in at my apartment. Tops. I DO have a floor fan running 24/7, though, because it's a pleasant thing to have running in here. THAT could be plugged into the Energy Star power strip, though, as if that will make any different in watt-to-dollar savings.
But, BUT, the BIG thing that fucks over this apartment every Summer with electricity, and fuck it (me) over every Winter with gas (heat) usage, is the firewall. This building was built in 1980, during a strange time for American architecture, and many "project-like" residences were being constructed, which was what this property was initially meant to serve as (the property is not project-like, anymore, and these units are priced on the higher side, if one is migrating from Jefferson County, Missouri (which I am), but priced on the lower side, if one is from/around St Louis County (as most apartments in this region are $900+ per mo, and this studio unit runs me a tad under $700)).
Anyway, the firewall serves as a sort of accident consolidation feature - or, if I fuck around and a fire starts in this unit, ONLY this unit will burn up - the other apartments in the building (theoretically) will not be affected. That means the entire outer wall in my living room and kitchen is constructed of cinder blocks (painted white), and the same goes for the adjacent wall in the kitchen, and the length of the apartment separating this apartment from my neighbor's place - albeit, with drywall covering that wall. The cinder block in the living room/kitchen has ZERO insulating properties. So, when the AC brings down the temp to 68 in the unit, and if the AC gets turned off, I have but a few moments before the temp starts to creep back up to 70, then 72, then 78 and above if I keep it turned off long enough.
So yea, I can't really do much about how poorly-insulated this unit is :/
Budget Billing is an option, which makes sense if all other avenues of insulation and energy usage are addressed, but with this gaping HOLE of an issue going on, all Budget Billing will do is A) save me money on the monthly budget (which is nice, short term), but B) slap me with a $500+ bill to make up for what I saved once per year (so, I am paying for my own savings - which isn't really savings - it's just deferred billing). So, I avoid Budget Billing at all costs (figuratively and literally!).
So, I get to part with $137 in August, and send it on it's wayward journey to corporate utility company accounts, where it will spend the rest of time with other monetary denominations submitted for energy purposes, and this money will never see the light of day again. Perhaps some of it will be allocated for infrastructure upgrades in years to come, but the $137 as I know it? I hardly knew ye :/ It was deposited, it was withdrawn and spent, I may as well have never seen it - other than to claim possession OF it for a moment, in order to exchange it for energy usage for a 30-day time period.
Money is so fucking dumb. But this is the world we live.
Having more of it (money) would make life "easier", but also just make elements of the developed world just sort of "make more sense", but I have very little of it, so everything becomes a "Have It" or "Don't Have It" scenario - but, I manage with what I have, so it is what it is.
And with those exact 800 words, I sip the last sip from this mug of coffee and venture out to the balcony to enjoy the pouring rain.