COLUMN: Post Christmas power shock
IF you have teenagers, you'll know the fear that came across my face when I walked into the kitchen on Tuesday arvo.
My face drained of all blood, I walked in to face my wife who saw what I was holding in my hand.
"Nooooooooo!" she screamed as she sank to her knees.
She knew in that moment that Christmas was a well and truly long, distant, happy memory.
It was a letter in my hand. Not just any letter. It was a letter from our electricity provider.
Not just any bill, it was the bill we all dread.
You know the one, the bill that will reflect the fact that from late November to the end of January I've had two teenagers at home running air cons, fans, laptops, computers, phones, Playstations, microwaves and sandwich toasters...in most cases, left on for the large part of the day, no matter how much you talk to them about it.
Teenagers always find a way to run up a massive bill while mum and dad are at work earning money to pay for it all, that's just a fact of life.
So you can imagine my shock when I opened the bill and it said just under $900.
According to the average in our suburb, our household of four people is using the same amount of power Suncorp Stadium uses to put on a One Direction concert.
The screaming was the same too, when I saw the bill! Now don't get me wrong, I understand it's hot and the kids are home for the holidays, they just want to relax and enjoy their summer. But why oh why do governments just expect us accept the ever rising price of electricity?
I've installed solar, I've put my hot water on off peak, plus invested in individual switch powerboards throughout the house to switch things off that are not being used. I run the dishwasher and washing machine when I go to bed, put air cons on timers so they don't run all night, plus I even went on Ebay and invested in an energy monitor so I can see how much power we are using.
As you're reading this we are about to endure a weekend of temperatures over 40 degrees, meaning air cons will be running on full.
I wonder if the CEOs of the power companies celebrate all that money pouring in this weekend with a visit to their house at the beach purchased with last year's 'profitability bonus'?
For the rest of us, it's back to readjusting the household budget yet again to get ready for the next bill.