I got my electricity bill on Thursday. Yes, I know, not normally something to get excited or happy about, but I am.
Why, you ask? Well, a year ago I put in a solar system. Because I have dogs I was on a self-read scheme, where the power authority only had to read the meter once a year. Going part solar with feed-in tariffs meant no more self-read. Despite my best efforts of keeping the dogs in the house on reading days, the dingdangity meter readers always managed to dodge reading the meters because they'd come a day early, or 'didn't know the dogs were locked up' or some other excuse. So I'd get an 'estimate' bill, based on the quarter when I'd installed the solar system.
Last estimate bill, I rang up the power authority and complained. They wanted me to leave the dogs visibly tied up in the yard with the gate open. No way, they're small dogs, we have several large aggressive dogs that roam the neighbourhood, and no way am I leaving my dogs tied up and vulnerable in the yard. I had to get fairly forceful with them, but eventually spoke to an eminently sensible gentleman who realised what I said was true, and we agreed that the dogs would be in the house, and the gate open, for the 3-day reading window. And that he would let the meter reader know that if the gate was open, the dogs were contained, whether he could see them or not.
Finally, the meter readers came and read the meter. And Thursday the bill arrived. I'm actually in credit (over $300!) so nothing to pay, and I should be right for the next quarter as well!!!
It's autumn here, and time to plant bulbs. A few weeks ago I set up my old potbelly stove on the deck as a planter, and put in freesias, crocus and tulips. The freesias are already sprouting. I'm hoping everything else comes up in spring!