Wednesday, February 27, 2008

PET PEEVE: Flat-Rate Utilities!!

Like many in the under-twenty five bracket, I live in an apartment. It used to be NYC tenement apartments, now it’s Boulder house-converted-to-five-apartments apartments. Lots of things about my new city are different: the threat of mountain lions, the diseased prairie dogs, the unabashed hippies. But one of the most annoying things about apartment living still stands at the new address: I GET NO PRICE BREAK IF I CONSERVE UTILITIES!!!!!

I have “free” gas for the stove, “free” water, “free” garbage collection, and “free” power. By free of course, I mean it’s included in my rent already. So when I make a concentrated effort to turn my radiant heat down below 70, I don’t see another penny. When I turn off the power strip or unplug my phone charger when it’s not in use, I don’t earn quarters toward Friday night beers. IT DOESN’T MAKE A DAMNED BIT OF DIFFERENCE. So then, why should I bother? The stick-it-to-the-man part of my brain wants to turn the heat up to 90 degrees and wander around naked all winter just because I can and it costs the landlady money, not me.

I realize this doesn’t really matter to those of you who own your own homes, but as the economy gets more and more caustic, that is happening later and later in life for people.

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