My electricity bill arrived in the mail this morning. Being serendipitously stranded, thanks to Mrs Covid, I have more time to think about things like electricity bills. This is the story of my bill. It is my story, but it is also your story – give or take a few appliances.
In the great big world out there, electricity powers industry and agriculture. It drives just about everything we can think of on our planet. This column is not about big business. This week’s offering is about me and my domestic electricity bill.
My bill worked out at less than twenty Euro per week. I know that these long summer days are easier on electricity, but nonetheless, I started running through my brain-cage all the benefits I received for my twenty Euro note. I want to ask you if this is the greatest value for money that you and I enjoy in our everyday lives.
Just taking the past week, I listed some of the benefits and pleasures I enjoyed, courtesy of my electricity provider.
I love my big-screen TV; no time more so than tonight, and the return of the Premiership. The Internet flabbergasts me with all it knows and all it can do for an old geezer like me. We have attractive lighting in every room and outside in the yard as well. There are plugs in the sheds, where I can switch on an electric fence to control cattle all over the farm and also pump clean water down to the cows.
The electric cooker cooks dinners (at least I think that is where it comes from!) My precious coffee-maker I can man myself, and the kettle will fill the tea-pot with boiling water for tea in nothing more than a few minutes. I can also operate the toast-maker. Pop a slice of bread in and toast and marmalade is on the table as soon as the milk is in the coffee or tea. (Mrs Youcantbeserious doesn’t drink coffee).
Please don’t get bored here and opt out. This is important for you to appreciate how lucky you are to have electricity! Just think what it is like when the power goes off for half a day?
I am old enough to remember when houses did not have electricity. I remember the excitement in the 1950’s when the miracle of the ‘Rural Electrification Scheme’ shone a bright light into all the dark corners of remote Ireland. Can you picture houses with large families and no electricity? For lighting in our kitchen we had a ‘tilly lamp.’ It gave a bright light, but had a mantle. Quite regularly a moth would line up the light and go into a kamikaze dive. No more moth … and no more mantle. No mantle and the candles had to be brought out!
Mrs Youcantbeserious has a hair-drier, a hair straightener – and God knows what else, to keep herself as beautiful as she is. (Perfect, Bernie!!) I have an electric shaver; going back to the era before lock-down, when I used to shave. I even own an electric tooth brush. Without my twenty Euro worth of electricity, none of the above would be worth a fiddler’s flute.
This house is cleaned by a hoover; very often with me on the end of it, I have to say in my own self-praise. We have a washing machine, and the washboard is a museum piece. Mrs Youcantbeserious claims never to have seen one! There is a tumble-drier beside the washing machine so clothes get dried on a wet day. Washing up after the dinner is no bother either. The days of “you wash and I’ll dry” are long since gone, like the kettle on the crane. Fair play to ‘Zanussi’ who looks after the cups and plates.
We have an electric iron, whereas my mother had to heat the iron on a bed of coals by the fire. Electric showers in all the rooms means nobody has to wait for a ‘Stanley Range’ to heat the water for a bath – or fight over ‘who’s next’. Not only that, but I have an outdoor sauna that you only have to flip a switch to use.
The touch of a pad opens and closes the gates. The house is electronically alarmed, so I can go to bed feeling safe – after I have turned on my electric blanket of course!
What about the fridge – not to mention the freezer? Food kept fresh almost for as long as you want. Compare that with no electricity?
Anyway, I have to go and plug my phone into the charger…
If you know of any greater value for twenty Euro – please don’t be keeping it to yourself!
Once upon a time we had to rescue the toast from a blazing fire. Now the burned toast just pops up automatically.