My first year in this apartment I had a rate deal, but the two times I've renewed I was ambivalent about how long I was staying in the apartment, so I've been paying floating monthly rates since due to procrastination and indecision.
I recall my bills didn't always go over $100 at first, but lately they always do, and the past few months they're nuts. I never looked closely enough to know if it's usage or rates that's more responsible. But I pulled up my usage history. The first two years look pretty consistent, and I presume December 2009 is when I left the door open for a week while out of town, but since then every month but April has been relatively high.
If it weren't for April 2010 being the 3rd-lowest month of the past three years I'd think something was going haywire in here. As it is I suppose the weather has just been colder then hotter than usual.
So I guess my answer is that both rates and usage have gone up.
(I wonder what happened to January 09?)
I suppose it should be noted that from April 2008 through October 2009 I generally spent more time traveling for work than at home, but it doesn't seem to have made much difference.
What's worse is I'm still very ambivalent about staying here. My lease is up at the end of September, and I vaguely want to move but have no compelling reasons to, just minor things like not getting good TV reception here and traffic annoyances (but there's really no getting away from them).
Over the past few months I've flip-flopped between job security paranoia and a desire to hoard money and wanting to buy a house and start spending more money in leisure pursuits. And I really hate making big money decisions when I've been flip-flopping like that.