A $50,000 electric bill? The cost of cooling L.A.’s biggest houses in a heat wave will run about $1.5 million. And if you want to be cool then you’ll have to move out to Bel Air.
By Bill Thompson
LA TIMES, (Sunday, March 28, 2007) — Like most L.A. housekeepers and most of the city’s homeowners, we didn’t realize how much we were sweating in the heat. So, we were shocked one morning last week when we counted out the $1,534,000 and $1,473,000 in our checkbooks — that’s $1,100 for our two-bedroom house and $500 for our 10-by-12-foot studio.
The figures came in the mail last week, about 30 days after we discovered, when we put in our heat-sensitive meter, that we had to leave the house early to run the air conditioning. We spent the days between last Wednesday and today in the apartment on the upper floors of the Beverly Hills Hotel where we were spending $1,000 a night for a room that wasn’t a room, like our bedroom.
The fact that we’d only had to cool the bathroom for a few minutes didn’t help ease our embarrassment at having to leave L.A. to cool down the rest of the house.
Our initial thought, like most thoughts in this house, was that we needed to buy a new air conditioner. It’s nice to know that we had a new one installed on a rainy Sunday, because we’d still have to replace the one that came with the house — even though we were paying about $500 too much for it.
Our first thought was that we should get rid of the house, and then think about the cost of a new air conditioner. But after a few days in Bel Air and talking to some people from Bel Air, we decided that we needed the house because it was the only part of the five-story house that had an attic.
We got lucky, though. The real estate office told us that we had gotten a steal. The house, which sat in an L.A. neighborhood on the edge of Bel Air, was under $400,000. The asking price was supposed to be around $600,000 to $700,000, but we managed to sell it