After a few beers one Saturday morning, I got to thinking about how much it really costs to live in San Diego County.  With all the blogs and other internet sites, I was sure someone had put together a retrospective spanning the last few decades.  I searched the web and found plenty of sites that tracked practically everything (movie tickets, dining, sporting events, taxes, even toilet paper) but not ONE that tracked the cost of utilities!  Why?

   Naturally, being the mind and voice of the people, I needed to resolve this issue.  I set up my matrices, dug out my bills (fortunately I still had annual folders going back to 2007 as I try to keep 10 years as a hedge against the IRS), researched the various websites and began plugging in the numbers.  In a little less than two hours, I had all but the cost of utilities for 1957 - 1997 completed.  No site had readily available prices of utilities for those years.  Wikipedia, Ask.com (their response was Don't Ask) and the dark web could not provide the data.  The providers own websites only listed current pricing and absolutely NO historical data.

   I spent weeks researching and reading Utility Company Investor, Government Commission and News Agency reports published on the web in order to compile the required raw data.  The final step was to utilize that foulest of four letter words, MATH!  I then channeled the combined intellects of Alfred Einstein, John Maynard Keynes and Sheldon Cooper to distill the raw data into the necessary end values.  My matrices were now complete.

   Imagine my surprise when it turns out that 2007 was the best year to live in San Diego County.  Naturally, the Politco-Corporate Machine swiftly rectified that anomaly with the 2008 Housing Bubble Burst/Stock Market Crash.  Oh well, one winning year out of 60 isn't bad, right?

 

Joe GED's Review Of Living In San Diego County*
YEAR CA Minimum Wage/Hour One Gallon of Gasoline1 One Gallon of Milk2 One Loaf of Bread3 One kWh of Electrity4 One Therm of Natural Gas5 One HCF of City Water6 One Month Trash7 One Month Rent8 PENDING DISASTER
2017 10.50 2.999 3.82 2.84 0.319 0.535 5.475 20.00 1547.00 Climate Change
2007 7.50 2.809 3.87 1.68 0.252 1.752 4.043 16.00 747.00
1997 5.00 1.239 2.67 1.17 0.148 0.433 3.098 15.00 792.00 Global Warming
1987 3.35 0.959 1.98 1.28 0.198 0.579 2.662 14.00 560.00
1977 2.50 0.659 1.44 0.32 0.109 0.319 1.099 13.00 484.00 Ice Age
1967 1.30 0.339 1.15 0.22 0.109 0.319 0.989 12.00 389.00
1957 1.00 0.319 1.00 0.19 0.140 0.409 0.959 10.00 256.00 Nukes
NOTES - ONE MINIMUM WAGE EARNER (and we even haven't considered taxes, groceries or other necessisties)
1 Cost from bargain gas stations (e.g., ARCO).
2 Cost of whole milk.
3 Cost of plain white bread.
4 Consumption Tier system used.  Provider also charges minimum/base level.  Comparison for two person home @ avg of 410 kWh monthly / 30 days.
5 Provider currently (2017) charges a minimum base (14 Therms @ 1.09834 per Therm).  Comparison for two person home w/ gas heat, stove & oven - avg of 37 Therms monthly / 30 days.
6 One HCF = 748 gallons.  Provider uses 4-Tier system and bills bi-monthly.   Price is average of 4-Tier system, family of two over 12 months averaged use.
7 Trash disposal cost is typically not part of apartment rental.  It's included as perspective.  Provider bills quarterly, so above rate is for one month.
8 Average rental cost for a one bedroom/one bath apartment.
YEAR One Month Gross Wages1 One Tank of Gasoline2 Two Gallons of Milk3 Two Loaves of Bread4 One Month of Electrity5 One Month of Natural Gas6 One Month of City Water7 One Month Trash8 One Month Rent9 Total Monthly Expenses What's Left Over? PENDING DISASTER
2017 1820.00 59.98 7.64 5.68 130.79 19.80 60.23 20.00 1547.00 1851.11 -31.11 Climate Change
2007 1300.00 56.18 7.74 3.36 103.32 64.82 44.47 16.00 747.00 1042.90 257.10
1997 866.67 24.78 5.34 2.34 60.68 16.02 34.08 15.00 792.00 950.24 -83.57 Global Warming
1987 580.67 19.18 3.96 2.56 81.18 21.42 29.28 14.00 560.00 731.59 -150.92
1977 433.33 13.18 2.88 0.64 44.69 11.80 12.09 13.00 484.00 582.28 -148.95 Ice Age
1967 225.33 6.78 2.30 0.44 44.69 11.80 10.88 12.00 389.00 477.89 -252.56
1957 173.33 6.38 2.00 0.38 57.40 15.13 10.55 10.00 256.00 357.84 -184.51 Nukes
NOTES - ONE MINIMUM WAGE EARNER (and we even haven't considered taxes, groceries or other necessisties)
1 Calculation based on 2,080 work hours per year divided by 12.
2 One 20 gallon tank of regular gasoline.
3 Two gallons of whole milk.
4 Two loaves of white bread.
5 410 kWh's.  The huge jump in prices: 1970's Fuel Crisis, 2000's Deregulation & 2007 CA wildfires.
6 37 Therms.  The huge jump in prices: 1970's Fuel Crisis, 2000's Deregulation & 2007 CA wildfires.
7 11 HCF's.   The huge jump in prices: 1970's Fuel Crisis, "on-going" drought, 2000's Deregulation & 2007 CA wildfires.
8 One month trash disposal.
9 Average rental cost for a one bedroom/one bath apartment.
*Researching historical utility retail prices was a HUGE pain the ass.  The providers websites do NOT provide historical data!
*My calculations are based on a page from, "The Educated Person's Handbook Of Statistical Facts" (Rule 1:  Just make it up and dare others to disprove)!