Today I found out I had made a big mistake. And it turns out that things are a lot better than we thought they were.
If you remember from my last post, we had checked the electric meter on our site and found, to our horror, that we had already incurred over $42 of electricity expense in just three days. This was based on the opening meter reading that the front office provided us at check-in, and the current meter reading at the time we checked it three days later.
As I mentioned, I had created a spreadsheet to compute the charges we were accruing at 12.38 cents per kWh used. The spreadsheet works great. My typing, however, not so much.
On the spreadsheet I entered the opening meter reading as 7693.
Today we were discussing some of the activities that take place here at the RV park, and I picked up the printed materials that they gave us at check-in, to which the electric meter form was attached. As I glanced at the form, something about the opening meter reading just caught my eye and alarm bells went off.
The opening meter reading on the form was actually 7963, not 7693. That’s a difference of 270 kWh, or $33.43.
Yes, I had transposed the number when I set up my spreadsheet. What a dork!!
So I corrected the spreadsheet and re-checked the meter. As of this evening, we have actually accrued electricity charges of $16.09 over the past five days and nights.
That, I can live with.
In the past two days of panic, we cut way back on our electricity use. We learned to conserve power, we ran the fans instead of the air conditioner for most of the day until it got up to 90°, and we made use of the pool to cool off.
Once we found out that we weren’t consuming nearly as much electricity as we thought we were, we breathed a sigh of relief and turned the A/C back on. But as a result of this transposition error, we have become much more conscious of our power consumption. Yes, our final bill is going to be much less than we thought, but at the same time we want to keep it as low as possible.
So, we won’t be keeping the RV as cool as we were originally, especially at night. Additionally, we went to Lowe’s today and picked up a roll of Reflectix insulation to put in the windows that face the afternoon sun. Reflectix is a product that almost every RVer uses to reduce the temperature inside their rig. Today we cut pieces to fit both the driver’s and passenger’s side windows in the cab, as well as the big window over our dinette. We could immediately feel the difference as the sun’s heat was blocked by the Reflectix from entering the RV. We plan to cut pieces for additional windows as needed.
And speaking of the pool, it’s been really nice to have that amenity available to us even if we weren’t trying to conserve electricity. Yesterday I went to take a swim after I finished my morning walk. It was about 9:45 AM, and I didn’t realize that there was a water aerobics class beginning at 10:00. The ladies talked me into sticking around for the class, and it was a hoot! I really enjoyed it, and as it turned out, it was a great workout. This morning I finished my walk a little earlier, and so Andy went with me to the pool so we could enjoy a nice swim before the class started. We’ll definitely be using the pool on a regular basis while we’re here, although we won’t be regular participants in the class. After all, I don’t own a pool noodle. LOL
We’re still trying to get things organized inside the RV. We got the Roku hooked up to the TV so we can watch Netflix and YouTube via the hotspot on our Verizon phones. There is very little TV reception here in the park, so we haven’t even raised our TV antenna. The biggest challenge is when it comes to meal preparation–I have to climb up on the dinette to retrieve things from the overhead compartment storage, sometimes having to shift bins around to reach things like the Instant Pot which are stored further back.
But that hasn’t stopped us from preparing delicious, healthy meals. We’ve been grocery shopping at three different stores in Livingston to find the best produce, and so far we’re sticking to our whole foods, plant based diet, eating lot of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Our goal is to stay healthy on the road for as long as possible.
We plan to start working on our domicile requirements next week, along with doing some sight-seeing in the area. There’s not much to do or see around Livingston, but we plan to make our way to some of our old stomping grounds around Houston, Galveston, Huntsville State Park, etc. over the next few weeks.
And now we have no problem leaving the A/C running for the kitties while we explore.
Amazing how one little transpositional error can cause so much consternation!