In many states, especially on the west coast, each home is allotted a limited baseline electric allotment. Once the household’s consumption exceeds this baseline, they are subject to significant economic penalties.

Those of us who suffer hot flashes from hormone therapy will be penalized as a result of our medical condition. The use of our air conditioners is guaranteed to put us over the allowable baseline and we are going to find that we will be faced with significant penalties when our electric bill arrives.

There is a way out of this dilemma. If you contact the electric company, tell them that you face a life threatening illness (advanced prostate cancer), and cannot tolerate extreme temperature change, you could be eligible for an increase in your allowable baseline.

The procedure for obtaining the baseline increase is easy. Usually, the electric company will send you an application, which you fill out and have your doctor countersign.

Why suffer needlessly from the heat or find that you have to spend more of your limited cash resources to stay comfortable.

Joel T Nowak MA, MSW