Hastings’ Intolerable Electric Rate
[With the most humble of apologies to Dame Agatha Christie.]
It was with some trepidation, albeit fleeting hope that I came upon the doorstep of my dear friend, letter in hand about the electric rate affair. It had arrived just this morning to my little flat in Middletown, where we were staying on our great American Tour. There I found my friend, Hercule Poirot, sipping his morning chocolate.
“Ah, good morning my dear mon ami Hastings!”
I threw the letter down on the table. “Not so good, Poirot. I’ve just received this gigantic bill from the power company. In fact, I’m ruined. With natural gas prices rising this much, I don’t know how I’ll afford to keep the lights on!”
“Mon dieu, Hastings. Always you do not use your little grey cells as you should! You say that the natural gas prices, they are high n’est-ce pas? And accordingly, with this grand change in price, you are charged more for your utilities?” He animatedly gestured towards the letter on his table. “Why have you not found a fixed rate? Then you would not have to deal with the whims of the market.”
“Well,” I replied, sitting next to him. “I looked, but it all seemed so expensive.”
“No, my dear Hastings. We shall look together, mon ami. Let Poirot assist.”
Poirot Investigates My High Electric Rate
“It’s just all so damnably complicated,” I grumbled as Poirot laid a set of papers out in front of me. “Really, Poirot, how am I supposed to find a good deal on my electricity rate?”
The little Belgian blinked over his tiny glasses emphatically and pushed one of the papers towards me. I glanced it over.
“The Santanna Pick 12 from Santanna Electricity Services, eh? 7.99 cents per kWh, and a $100 early termination fee? Surely that seems a sight too expensive, doesn’t it old boy?” I asked.
“Indeed dear Hastings. You, of course, do not see the glowing reviews. But, alas, you are correct. This is an admirable rate, but for you? No.”
“Still, what about this one? XOOM Energy SureLock 12 for 7.69 cents per kWh?” I asked, passing him the paper. He eyed it dubiously.
“No. No I think not, Hastings. This rate, it is good is it not? It is not as expensive as the other rates, and furthermore, it has no monthly fee. But you see my dear Hastings, it has a $100 early termination fee, and this? This is not acceptable. This plan, however-“ Here he picked up the final piece of paper and squarely pushed it into my view. “This is an excellent plan.”
“From Public Power 12 Month Fixed Rate at 7.79 cents per kWh, with no early termination fee, and no monthly fee? Poirot that’s brilliant!”
“Ah, you see mon ami? With some small work, we have found a way for you to stop losing so much money to the utility company!” He beamed brightly at me, before offering me the telephone so I could call and switch. “Your electric rate will no longer be weighing on your grey cells.”
A Grave Miscalculation In Middletown
“Yes, it is brilliant. There’s still one problem, dear chap.”
“Que ç’est, Hastings?”
“Well, to be honest, I was hoping for a six-month plan,” I admitted, handing him back the paper. Poirot’s face seemed to fall in disbelief.
“Hastings, why have you not told me this in the first place?” He asked me, slightly crestfallen. “Here, I have done all this work for you, and it is only now that you tell to me that you desire a six-month plan? Incroyable.”
“Well, what are we going to do?” I asked, picking up my discarded bill.
Poirot seemed to sigh and then straightened his moustache. “Alas, my dear Hastings, my work is in vain. Nevertheless, we shall just have to go find your six-month plan at www.ohenergyratings.com.”