Electric & Gas Frustration
Granny's last electric + gas was $228. (My house, three times larger than hers, was $150.) That's more than 25% of her monthly income! I had to pull over $12,000 of her savings last year to cover the deficit of her caregiver, plus the constantly-increasing usual household expenses. Part of the problem is her electric retailer is very expensive, I need to find another. But also ... she no longer understands about finances, the need to be reasonable with electric & gas use. If I try to press the point, she can only see the extremes of either being "warm" or shutting everything completely off.
We're on the central Texas coast, not exactly the land of ice and snow. The temp can be 65Â°F outside, she has 81Â°F inside. Or she's complaining of being cold, sitting in her rocker in the living room, by a window, with a blanket folded on the sofa nearby. I was there this afternoon, 60Â°F outside, I literally broke into a sweat, in short sleeves.
She'll run the washer & dryer for two dishcloths and two dish towels. I turned the water to the washer off, advised the caregiver (who comes mornings 'til 1 PM) that I'll pick up the towels whenever I stop by (usually daily) and do them weekly or so, but she can turn it on if they need to run sheets or clothes, then back off. Somebody is still running them much too often, I can tell by the controls being reset.
She's left-handed, so constantly turns the single-lever kitchen faucet to the left side, using hot water for everything.
She has a portable electric space heater with electronic controls. Set it to a reasonable temp, she unplugs it to move to another room and the controls reset to maximum heat. So I bought a Vornado with a dial thermostat, set it to a reasonable 72Â°F. Covered the controls to ward-off her getting to them. Somebody tore the cover aside, cranked it to maximum. She claims she didn't do it, but I'm sure she did, doesn't remember.
So what am I to do? Let her run the house like an oven 'til the money is gone ... then what?