Okay, not an exciting subject for some of you.
But many of our readers are also RV'ers, so it will be of interest to them. Or at least I hope it will be!
Most campgrounds in North America supply electrical hookups to each campsite. The majority of them supply this electricity as part of the price that you pay for your daily or weekly stay. If you are staying in your site for a month or perhaps as a seasonal site, some campgrounds have metered sites where you pay for your own electricity.
We've had several discussions over the past few weeks because here at Hacienda Contreras every site has a meter, and you pay for what you use. Here in Mexico, electricity is more expensive than in Canada or the U.S., and in this area we pay 3 pesos (24 cents) per kilowatt hour. In our case, we use very little because we make use of our solar panels and batteries, and also we are very prudent with our useage.
For example, we have been here for over five weeks now, and we have used 34 kw hours. Total cost of about $8.00. In comparison, Barb says that most big rigs that pull in here use between 10 and 30 kw hours per day!
If we stay in campgrounds that supply electricity as an included item, we are actually subsidizing the people who use it without regard. You know, the ones who put their air conditioners on when the temperature is 25C (77F) instead of opening their windows. Or plug in a couple of electric heaters instead of putting a sweater on. In fact, having electricity as an included item actually encourages you to waste it. It's that whole "well, I'm paying for it anyways..." attitude.
So when we pull into a campground, we always ask for a discount because we don't need to use electric, and we don't want to pay for someone else's usage. If the campground won't give us a price based on "non electric", odds are good that we won't stay there. Simple as that.
One discussion came up a couple of weeks ago because some of the campers questioned the accuracy of the meters here. These same people had never been plugged into a metered site with their big new motorhome and their electric appliances, so of course they had no idea how much electricity they actually were consuming. I suggested that it would cost them about 75 cents to test the meter by plugging in a 1500 watt heater directly to the outlet and then seeing if it used 3 kw hours in a two hour period. And if the test was accurate, they could then test each 120 volt ac circuit in their motorhome and see where the power was going in order to see if there was anywhere they could cut back. Then it turned out they also had a small electric fridge plugged in that was rated at 130 watts. Well that means they are using 1 kw hour every 7.5 hours, or just over 3 kw hours per day for that little fridge alone. Then add in your microwave/convection oven, your coffee maker, your electric blanket, etc, etc, and it all adds up. This is all fine if you want to pay for it, but just don't ask me to help you pay for it!
So my question is...do you realize how much electricity you use? Do you care?