I Hate Dialysis Message Board

Off-Topic => Off-Topic: Talk about anything you want. => Topic started by: PrimeTimer on August 03, 2017, 07:41:50 PM

Title: Not Mad Anymore Bcuz I Take Action
Post by: PrimeTimer on August 03, 2017, 07:41:50 PM
If you are anything like me, you get fed up with robo calls. I also get fed up with people who know nothing about me nor my circumstances telling me what to do or not do. I get tired of people assuming things. For instance, no matter my political leanings, I want clean air and water. Why wouldn't I? The other day we got a robo calll from the electric company marked "URGENT" on our voice mail. Gee, had we not paid the bill? Was kind of startling to get a voice mail marked "URGENT" because well, we've never got such a call. We didn't even know that callers could mark their message as being urgent. Learn something new everyday. Just goes to show how "with it" and "up to date" I am on technology and the service options our voice mail comes with. Anyways, the electric company was calling to alert us to a "Reduced Energy Use Day", asking that users in the area reduce their use of energy for a day. Only a day. Well....'eff that! Have they called our landlord to tell him to replace our air conditioner that is highly inefficient and always breaking down? The A/C is on and it is 80 in here. Has the water company called our landlord to tell him to fix the leaks? Our water bill has steadily increased and water flow decreased. The bill is divided up between the tenants each month and so is the misery. We are all miserable. No A/C, no water flow, no weather stripping around the front doors, roof and windows leak. We are moving but can't til our lease is up in the fall. We move any sooner we will be breaking the lease and they will hit your credit history for it. Meanwhile...

I thought about this "Reduced Energy Use Day" and what did I do? I marked the calendar and told my husband. He was on-board with it. When the day came, I turned on EVERY light in our apartment, ran ALL four oscillating fans, the A/C, the radio, the TV, the microwave oven, the stove and did a couple loads of laundry. There. I felt better. Sure, our bill will reflect an increase next month but the satisfaction of NOT doing what others want us to was, dare I say, PRICELESS. They can stay out of our business. They can stop assuming that we don't care about the environment or our carbon footprint. By the way, got a follow-up robo call from the electric company. They said out of 100 users in our area, we ranked 97 for energy efficiency on their "Reduced Energy Use Day". The message went on to say that they will give us another chance and will call us again in a couple weeks to alert us of their next "Reduced Energy Use Day" and that in the meantime, we may want to adjust our thermostat. They have GOT to be joking! Ooh, this is going to be good!
Title: Re: Not Mad Anymore Bcuz I Take Action
Post by: Michael Murphy on August 03, 2017, 11:36:53 PM
If you have caller I'd service they make devices and phones that block calls so your phone does not ring call are just hung up on.  I use Panasonic phones that have A 250 number limit for blocking.  That's  enough for me because I block 800*, 888*' 866* . So for 3 slots I block all 800 number calls.
Title: Re: Not Mad Anymore Bcuz I Take Action
Post by: Charlie B53 on August 04, 2017, 04:51:22 AM

I am greatly irritated by those robo calls.  Especially the ones that spoof the caller ID so to look like it is coming from a local number.

Once upon a time the Do Not Call laws meant something.  That has been changed by Congress.  Lobbyist have wined and dined Congress into passing a measure to allow calls as long as they have an Opt Out option during that call so you can push the required button and they will not call you again.  I am not willing to sit and listen to the call, waiting for this Opt Out which is most likely not until the very end of the call.

We need to vote out all of those professional politicians.
Title: Re: Not Mad Anymore Bcuz I Take Action
Post by: iolaire on August 04, 2017, 05:18:01 AM
We use a Obihai  (https://www.amazon.com/OBi200-1-Port-Adapter-Support-Service/dp/B00BUV7C9A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501848639&sr=8-1&keywords=obitalk) VIOP device for our home phone which uses Google Voice to do all the phone stuff (for free after the $50 device, no monthly charges, no minute charges).  It has spam protection and initially cut down on the garbage calls.  However recently we are getting more spam calls, but at least then I can go into the Google Voice website and mark the calls as Spam which is a tad rewarding even if the spammers will just use a different number next time.

Re lower energy use days, we are part of a program from Dominion Power where they install a cut off switch on our heat pump (external part of the AC/Heat unit) and can switch it off during times they want lower usage.  For that we get a $40/year credit.  I was actually switched off on Monday 1-6 and it took me quite a while to figure out why the house was circulating air but the heat pump was not moving and making the air colder.  Normally we would not notice it because we would be at work but since I'm home we did. 

In a few months I might by a Nest Learning Thermostat and play around with that, if anything it would allow me to adjust the temperature from upstairs via the phone without needing to run down to the main level and move the thermostat setting. Obviously it should be much easier to program via the phone rather than the buttons on "programmable" thermostat we had for a few years before it broke.
Title: Re: Not Mad Anymore Bcuz I Take Action
Post by: smartcookie on August 04, 2017, 10:19:30 AM
Doesn't sound like poor PrimeTimer is getting a financial break from the electric company.  I would call them and tell them that you have a deadbeat landlord that doesn't want to keep up his end of the bargain plus a husband on dialysis who cannot get too hot due to fluid limitations.  If they aren't going to give you a break on the bill then why should you participate in the reduced energy days?  I would be pissed off, too.
Title: Re: Not Mad Anymore Bcuz I Take Action
Post by: Charlie B53 on August 05, 2017, 04:50:07 AM

I've been considering building a 'Misting' system to mist water on the outside A/C coil.  The water evaporation should help lower the coil temp, helping the system to perform at a higher efficiency level and reduce overall run time cooling the house.

Here in the mid-West there are many days with higher humidity but this should still make a measurable difference as home systems are a bit undersized and weather in the higher 90's can run all day and well into the night.  Increasing efficiency may reduce run time possible 25% which would make a noticeable difference in our electric bill.

I still haven't ever gotten around to installing a water heater insulation blanket.  I should.  Wife had me jack the temp near max yearas ago.  It is way too hot and can easily scald you.  There has to be massive heat radiating into the house all the time.  Not a problem during the heating season.  But this just contributes to the cooling load in the summer.

I'm too lazy a lot of the time.
Title: Re: Not Mad Anymore Bcuz I Take Action
Post by: PrimeTimer on August 05, 2017, 11:02:51 AM
The electric company installed new SMART meters on our apartment building about a year ago. We had no choice in the matter. I suspect these robo calls from them is the beginning of their experimenting with "nudging" us into Agenda 21. In other words, they start with the robo calls alerting us of when they are going to have a "Reduced Energy Use Day". Then they make a follow-up call to tell you if you were energy efficient (compliant) or not. They do this a couple of times, slowly building up to phone call telling you "Okay folks, we warned you. Since you are not willing to let yourselves be sheeple and you are out of compliance, we are hereby going to reduce your energy use for you (making you feel like a selfish child who hates the planet). We will be telling your SMART meter to TURN OFF your power whenever we see fit so that we can all do our part to save the world", blah, blah, blah...

Before we move into the next apartment, I am going to check to see if they are using SMART meters or not. The issue is not just about suffering from high heat/high humidity because of a broken A/C but it's about our right to make decisions for ourselves. They call that freedom. I want to live as a free citizen, not a subject.
Title: Re: Not Mad Anymore Bcuz I Take Action
Post by: Riki on August 06, 2017, 12:23:03 AM
I don't like the idea of an electric company saying "you're using too much energy, so we're going to cut your load whenever the heck we want."  If you're paying for the service, you should be able to use as much or as little as you want.  I mean, the more you use, the higher your bill gets, right?  What if you were doing home dialysis, and they cut your power in the middle of treatment?  That did happen to me once, it was not fun.  At least I was on PD, so it wasn't as bad, though I had been in the middle of a drain when the power went off.

When it comes to programmable thermostats, I miss the one that we had in the house. It had big numbers on it, so I could read it.  The ones we have in this apartment (one upstairs and one downstairs) are probably the original ones that were put in when the building was built, so 30 years ago.  They are so high on the wall that I can barely reach them, and I need to stand on a chair to read them
Title: Re: Not Mad Anymore Bcuz I Take Action
Post by: Charlie B53 on August 06, 2017, 06:55:25 AM

IIRC when the concept of power companies 'rolling' cut-backs the intent was to instal switchgear on selected electrical units such as water heaters, furnace, A/C unitss such that the company could shut down only that selected item for only about one hour.  Rotating these shut downs among hundreds of subscribers the company could conceivably reduce overall power use by a significant amount.

NO HOME was to be totally shut off.  Only those devices that had the switchgear installed.  NO item was to be shut off for more than one hour.  The reasoning there was one hour would not make much of a noticeable difference in home temperature.

There are a number of 'smart thermostats' available once programmed correctly will allow the home temp to 'float, shutting the heating/cooling system down while residents are either asleep or away at work.  The system will turn on again sufficiently soon to restore proper temp before wakening or returning home.  Similar controls for hot water heaters.  These controls can result in substantial annual savings on utility expense.

Son installed window tint film on all windows of his home.  He has seen a noticeable reduction in cooling from the reduce sun infiltration/heating.

We are not subscribed to any of these programs.  Since we are both Retired and home most always, I set the stat and leave it constant.  I don't like our utility bills at all.
Title: Re: Not Mad Anymore Bcuz I Take Action
Post by: smartcookie on August 07, 2017, 07:25:50 AM
That really sucks, Primetimer!  Living in South Carolina where it is routinely 95-105 degrees out with 90% or better humidity, it would be cruel to turn off our electricity.  In fact, there are several ways for me to help patients pay delinquent electric bills.  Plus, I can get free fans for patients, as well.  When I worked at the local hospital as a discharge planner, I was in the Medical Intensive Care Unit.  We had several patients who came in with hyperthermia and passed away from it.