Putting the Price of Power in Context


A 12 oz. bag of Salsa Verde flavored Doritos®, a gallon of 2% milk, a Starbucks® grande caffè mocha, an issue of ESPN The Magazine, an ice cold bottle of Coors® original… If this were the ramblings of a contestant on The $20,000 Pyramid, the category would be, “Things That Cost More Than What I Pay Per Day For Power.”

It’s true. My last power bill was $103.83 and it covered a span of 42 days – of which were some of the hottest days on record in the history of Colorado – so on average I spent $2.47 a day on power. But don’t roll your eyes and discredit this article yet. Sure, my well-being is contingent upon the pay check I receive as a contractor with Xcel Energy. But this blog entry isn’t guided by a corporate agenda. I am simply putting perspective on the price I pay for power.

DVR and Delta Spirit

With that being said, if I think of all the things I spend roughly two and a half bucks on it really puts the cost into perspective. In fact, the $2.47 I spent a day on power last month and what I was able to enjoy because of it is, for lack of a better word, cool. I watched a good majority of UEFA Football Championship, hosted dinner for friends and family, plugged in my guitar and played along with the latest Delta Spirit record, and so forth and so on. Beyond that, I took a warm shower every day (I’m not going to lie, I might have skipped a day or two) and slept comfortably at night. I despise hyperbole, but the amount of stuff you can do because of electricity and natural gas may be the greatest thing ever. And for under $2.47 a day, in my humble opinion, it is money well spent.

Mindful Matters

Now, I will say this. Although my fiancé and I are not hyperaware, we are mindful when it comes to energy consumption. For instance, the Draper household is full of fans. We run them at night. We run them during the day. We run them non-stop. We crack windows in the evening and take advantage of cool Denver nights. We close blinds when it’s sunny. We have crazy efficient, ENERGY STAR® appliances (I never thought I’d be so amazed by how smart a washer and dryer can be). We use the grill more than the oven – keeping any unnecessary heat outside is a bonus in the summer. From turning off the lights when we leave the room to running our dishwasher at night, we believe the little things add up.

Parking Tickets and Plumbing

$2.47 a day ain’t too shabby. At least its money spent towards my overall enjoyment of life. There is satisfaction that comes along with it. Much better than spending money on parking tickets or plumbing, I’d say.

Article by Billy Draper, appearing courtesy Xcel Energy Blog.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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