The old guy went on to say he couldn't have solar because his property is too shady, but that solar would be great for a beach house. So, he even has shade and still needs that much a.c.?
Our house is also too shady for solar, and we don't run our a.c., except maybe one hot day a year just to prove it still works. Our winter bills are the high ones. We keep the thermostat low, so the kids sometimes use an electric space heater. I use the clothes dryer in the winter, finding it takes too long to dry heavy winter clothes in a rather chilly house. I also cook a lot and we work (computers) from home. But really, ever since we got a heat/sun lamp for the turtle, our bill has been higher. The plan is to dig it a habitat in the backyard this spring, and let it hibernate/take its chances over next winter.