Ok about a year ago my apartment complex ( a cooperative) began to discuss the problem of high gas bills. They took a vote or survey on wheather they should raise rent 100 dollars a month or have gas meters put on each apartment and have us pay our own gas bill. They told us rent would be reduced 40 dollars a month and estimated gas bills at about 60 in the winter cold months (this is northern Indiana). I voted for the rent increase not the gas meters but the gas meters won. Well the meters were recently installed and I got my bill today it was only for 11 days and was almost 52 dollars. I have not been using heat. I wash clothes in cold water and wash dishes once a day. I rarely use the gas stove because it is extremely old and use my micro instead. I take quick showers (i have dry skin anyway). They have decided not to reduce our rent bill. Now multiply the 52 by 3 ( thats about 150 a month and I haven't even started to use heat yet). Keep in mind this is Northern Indiana. Now my neighbor just laughed she is on Welfare and says she doesn't care because the Government pays it anyway. I can't get Welfare. To just pay this money I will have to take from my next semesters savings for school (I'm a Nursing Student taking prereqs). I can't afford this. Now how will I ever pay for school?
I can't get financial aid. I'm looking into moving but other places are just as expensive. Even if I can get heat assistance it won't pay for 1 month of the gas. I called the gas company. Also I am trying to get the apartment manager to evaluate the water heater, pipes and stove. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Oct 7, '02
Hmm, this really stinks! I know how freezing Indiana winters are
I'm not sure about the gas company works, but I know that AEP for electric will set up a set rate for you & you can pay the same amount each month, say $70 no matter what you use, it's figured as an average of what it will cost you over the year. They may be able to do this for you. You may want to look into it!
If not, I'd check into a different place. A friend of mine lived in an apt that had heat included, it wasn't real big or fancy, but a nice, affordable place! It's hard to believe that those are out there anymore :chuckle
Oct 7, '02
Thanks for the quick reply however those heat included places are not available anymore in the cities I have checked. Also a regular bill won't help because I estimated it will be 150 for just a month without heat and from people I've talked to 150 more when I have heat on. The manager says we must not use space heaters and they will check to make sure heat is on when it is cold. The gas company is sending someone out to read the meters also. Now if I was a nurse already I could afford this but I make low wages and pay for school my self. I can't get financial aid. Now I will have to get another low wage job (if I can find one) to pay these gas bills. Before it was part of rent. Which is very high anyway. I am looking at moving but landlords want even higher rent than here and still pay bills also. In addition they are considering making us pay water bill too. Right now many are moving out and only Welfare and Section 8 can afford to live here (government pays their bills?) I just don't know what to do I may end up homeless at this rate. No more school for me I quess.
Oct 7, '02
Check all your windows, are their drafts? If there are you are sending money right out them, Is the seal tight around your doors? You would be suprised how much money is wasted on drafts. I know this seems little but it does add up. Also, you can wrap your hot water heater, they sell insulators that help keep the water hot so you don't have to run the bill up. You may want to invest in weather stripping if you have leaks, it will help save money in the long run.
Oct 7, '02
They made a major increase last year in rent to pay for new windows all but one has been replaced and it is in really bad shape. They told us the increase in rent to pay windows would keep us from paying own gas bill (obviously they lied). They also replace door.I do buy that stuff to caulk. I would like to put plastic over the bad window but they said no last year. However I plan to do it this year anyway if they get mad. I am going to get very angry with management tomorrow about my ancient water heater and stove and pipes. Hopefully if they replace water heater I can insulator on it. They told me 6 months ago it was a fire hazard. But still haven't replaced it. The stove is 35 years old and isn't efficient. The water heater is almost 17 years old! Bet your wondering why I stay here this area of Indiana is in poverty land. Only if I was wealthy could I afford better. I looked at other apartments and they were more expensive and in worse shape. Don't know why I can't get Welfare and Section 8 like so many of my neighbors. Thanks for the suggestions and keep the ideas coming my way.
Oct 8, '02
Do you have a lease? If you do, the apartment owners may be violating some of the conditions. Did they put anything in writing when they raised the rent? Maybe you can try for asisstance again if your circumstances have changed. If all else fails, is your apartment big enough to take in a room mate to help with expenses? I hope you have lots of warm clothes.
Oct 8, '02
Why can't you get financial aid? At least student loans?
Must Read Topics