After posting about my budget the other day I decided to phone the council and find out exactly when the readings for gas and electricity are taken only to find out they had been taken a couple of weeks ago and my bill had been posted to me that morning. What a coincidence. The person who lived here before me either liked overpaying and getting the refund at the end of the year or I really am getting to be frugal in my use of electricity and gas because I seem to use about one third of what she did. They reduced my payments going forward but I asked them to put them up a little bit and I'll monitor the gas meter monthly from now (which I wanted to start doing anyway) to see if their level was realistic or if it's better to keep paying the higher amount (still much lower than I've been paying till now). I do need to get an electrician in to fit some lights as I've just been using plug in ones up to now (so much light from the street lights that you wouldn't need a light in the bathroom at night anyway but my recent visitors disagreed and I do hope to have visitors again) so I can check with him whether or not there is a generic key available for the cupboard where the electricity meters are kept or if I really would have to get the management company out every time I wanted to take a reading.
On top of another fairly crappy day in work (the kind that makes you decide by the end of it that it really would be a good idea to make sure your CV is up to date) it was nice to check my bank account and find out that the refund from the council was there already.