Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The last supper....

I'm thinking of holding a HUGE dinner party at my house sometime this month..I will invite everyone I know, and people I don't know...cook to my hearts desire..everything and anything in my cook book, my mom's cookbook...Hell, I may even borrow my neighbors cookbook...

Why, you may ask??? What's the occasion???

Wellllllllll...This will probably be my last month having ELECTRICITY at my house...with a $500.00 plus a month power bill now, that will double by next month, there is noooo way I will be able to continue to keep the power on...

I'm at my wits end and I don't know what to do...I have gotten rid of my dryer, use a gas burner for the most part, changed my light bulbs to energy savers, bake only on occasion, run my hot water heater for 3-4 hours in the evening, and use the air conditioning only at night...I don't have the heart to cut off the air conditioning for the kids (and myself) at night...but looks like CUC is going to do that for me after all...Oh, and I even installed energy savers into my home (which brought my bill down from the $700-$800.00 range)

The thought of having to take cold showers is giving me goosebumps as I type...I did it for years as a child..we never had hot water...for the most part we didn't even have water...we showered from buckets of water that we filled when the water would come on for two hours at 4am in the morning....It's just a matter of adjusting...but I don't want to adjust!!!! I love hot water...I need hot water...I work hard for my hot water...and to provide air conditioning for my children, and refrigerated food, and light...ahhhh, but I guess CUC does not feel that I work hard enough.....aghhhh...but I digress..

So yeah...Dinner anyone?


Boni said...

I feel ur pain

Saipan Writer said...

On the hot water--I have a gas water heater.

Like you, I run the air conditioning at night, but I'm going to try to cut that off (put it on a timer to go off after we are asleep.)

I still use the clothes dryer sometimes, but hang more laundry now, too.

And I really have to get those electric plug strips, so I can turn off things like the microwave and television/dvd that would be on "standy" or "clock" all the time otherwise.

This will have a positive side-really.

But dinner sounds good, too! :-)

Anonymous said...

for energy savers, contact Ivan at 234-2447. definitely helps shave 10-30% off your power bill.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing positive about living uncomfortably. We have on 3000btu aircon, no stove, no dryer, and flip off the breaker when we leave the house. Our bills are still high. Now these are going to double? Insane.

Saipan Writer said...

I'm not supporting the more-than-doubling of the power rate. I think we need rate-setting hearings with public input; we need a government sensitive to social needs; and if we need an increase in rates, we need it to be gradual and as small as possible so people can accommodate the necessary changes it requires.

For those at the low end of the economic scale, this current rate increase will push them out of power. For those who will be disconnected, it's not about comfort, but safety. And we should not have to lose the safety that comes with power--lights to see, refrigeration for food, power to operate water pumps, laundry facilities, and other sanitary needs, medical equipment, etc.

These-we cannot and should not have to do without.

But I think we can forego some "comfort" to save energy, improve the planet, and help each other.

And for being forced by a rate increase to be a little less comfortable for these benefits, I think there's some possible positive aspect to it.


glend558 said...

Solar hot water here..
Sunny News

Anonymous said...

You live on an island. The only source of power there is burning oil, which is no longer $20 per barrel. It's time to start facing up to the brutal reality that things will only get worse, energy is going to get more expensive for everyone worldwide, and Saipan is nothing special and isn't entitled to cheap energy.

lil_hammerhead said...

I disagree. We are special and we are entitled to affordable energy.. it can be done.

Anonymous said...

Let me say this again: no one is entitled to cheap energy! The mentality that we're entitled to things doesn't jive with the reality that you're on an island thousands of miles from the supply lines. Nukes might provide an affordable alternative, but that would assume people are comfortable with the potential risks (which, though low, are dire.)

In a world facing a permanent energy crisis, it's time to start facing up to the fact that no one is special and no one deserves air conditioning, hot water (particularly in a hot climate), etc. The realities of island living and being at the end of a precarious supply line in a world of diminishing supplies need to be faced.

G'ma said...

It would have been more fair for Tony to gather vital financial and other information before hiking up the power rate so drastically. The following should've been done, and if already done, should be shared with the public.

1. the amount CUC collected each month for the past 6 mos. or preferably a year
a) from residential users
b) commercial users

2. How much (approximate) fuel does CUC need each month and how much does it cost to keep the power on.

3. How much is the total owed to CUC (receivables)? from:
a) government
b) commercial
c) residents

4) How far back are these receivables...breakdown for each year. (Explanation to why there are still receivables dating back so many years)

5) Status of each and WHAT IS BEING DONE TO COLLECT?

6) How many are still hooked up to power who have outstanding bills? (commercials and residents) Why??

7) How many accountants and other administrative employees does CUC have? What are their salaries? Their qualifications and abilities to perform the jobs.

8) How many consultants does CUC have and the cost and functions of their contracts. Duration of each contract? Number of renewals. What have they done? (Results of the work done) WHO ARE THEY?

9) How are the billings done? Both power and water...for example are the majority metered or guesstimates. (The whole billing system is f.....ed up!!! and has been for a long time.) I have first hand knowledge on this.

10) Why are there so many disgruntled consumers lined up at the complaint counters at CUC? What's their main complaints. How are the so-called hearing officers handling the complaints.

11) Are the generators running at its highest efficiency? If not why and what needs to be done?

12) Talk to the experts from Singapore and Germany (and Guam?) who are now working on the generators, to learn status of each performance and progress, and whether this maintenace could bring the generators up to par with more efficiency operations or is this just another costly "band aid" waste.
All companies or individuals contracted as consultants or maintenace or whatever should all be disclosed to the of the company and the owners.

These are just some of the things Tony should have looked into and familiarized himself with, and do cost-cutting within CUC and the government to get a better idea of where CUC stands financially, before hitting the people and businesses with the drastic increase. If more businesses closes, this place will definitely go down the drain (rather.. further down than it already is).

It's easy for Tony or anyone making big bucks to say that the people should suck it up and pay the increased rate or change their 80k + salary or a $100k consulting contract it might be easy to just suck it up.... BUT the common person out there don't have that kind of money, and those paying rent (like me) are in even worst situation.

With better financial information, and lots of 'cleaning up' such as reducing # of employees, reducing ridiculous salaries, eliminating useless conferences, consultants, and administrative vehicle uses, turning down all government airconditions, perhaps with the savings realized the rate increase wouldn't need to be so drastic!!!
HELLO!!!! Most people have drastically cut down on their electric usage!!! but even at $5.00 an hour salary, a family with kids are having difficulty coping.

Tamara said...


no one deserves air conditioning, hot water (particularly in a hot climate)

That makes sense..I've always felt that people who lived in countries that had a winter season did not deserve to use Ice cubes in their drinks...

*In my best Homer Simpson accent*

Anonymous said...



Perhaps you were joking, but you're right! I live in a 4-season place and am amazed with how many people will actually run their clothes-dryer during the hottest and driest parts of the year, when the strain upon the electrical grid is at its highest. During the winter, these same people keep their thermostats at 75 degrees! It's insane!

When I lived on Saipan (99-02) I was horrified when I realized that our electricity was coming from liquid fuel generators! Only places like Saudi Arabia can truly afford such things! I was annoyed when I realized that CUC hadn't even *considered* wind, solar, tidal or wave power. These things aren't silver bullets, but having some power is better than no power or power that is too expensive for anyone to afford.