Just when I start feeling like I’ve gotten my head wrapped around this whole “living in another country” thing down pat, I wind up running into a proverbial brick wall.
What you’re looking at is my most recent electric bill. Does anything seem a little odd to you? No? Perhaps it would if I said the last two bills have only been 45 euros each, every two months.
Looking a little closer to the back page I noticed they are charging me for usage since this last December. But wait just one cotton-pickin second! I’ve been paying them since last October!?! Whats the deal here?!
Turns out all those previous months payments were “estimated” monthly usage charges. The French don’t send people out to look at your meter more than once every six months, at which point they recalculate your “real” usage, factor in what you’ve already paid for your estimated charges, and bill you the difference. Or, reimburse you, depending on how much or little you’ve used. Afterwards, they recalculate a new “estimated” monthly charge for the next six months. Rinse, spit, repeat.
Something nice is that this was for the coldest months of the year, and our actual monthly cost for electricity for the past six months works out to be only 30.50 (not including tax) so that’s not so bad. Which means, in another six months, we should be getting some money back from them. It just sucks something fierce that they want it all in one lump sum.
Oh well. That’s life.