I remember in the early 1970s, my winter natural gas bill was never over $50. But in later years Weatherford had an arctic blast, which lasted two weeks. It got down to 0 degrees for nearly a week.
I got out my ice rink skates and went to Holland Lake, which was frozen over. I skated for about 10 minutes, until I heard two cracks in the ice. I got out immediately to avoid a serious experience happening. My natural gas bill for that month was only near $100.
In 1973, my utilities in Weatherford were quite reasonable. At that time the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power plant went on line. It was advertised that the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and surrounding counties, would have very affordable electric rates for decades. Weatherford generated their own electric power at Lake Weatherford. Not using Comanche Peaks power, our rates were quite competitive.
During 1974, I researched nuclear power and discovered the disadvantages such as nuclear waste, which was not in the news. Only later did we hear of the waste disposal being a problem. Now here in 2014, the plant has certainly lived its life of safety. After Chernobyl and Fukushima, I am concerned that a serious accident could occur, and Weatherford being 50 miles to the north, with a south wind, could be at a serious risk.
In 1980, a heat wave hit Texas with 100-degree plus days for nearly the whole summer. This raised the use of electricity throughout Texas and really tested the delivery systems. I remember on June 13, 1980, at 10 a.m. it was 113 degrees. I called in sick that morning. I slept all day under refrigerated air.
Although I have always been cautious with my safety, I believe utility providers should protect their customers safety and affordability. Although rates for natural gas and electricity today are through the roof, there should be protections and discounts for the elderly, disabled, and fixed low income families and individuals.