My gas bill comes on the 8th of each month. This is a problem because I like to pay all of the bills as soon as I get paid, on the 30th or 31st of each month. So usually I just send them some money, whatever I think it's going to be, and then when I get the bill, it shows the money I sent credited and I can pay the rest if need be.
Well, in an attempt to be less psycho about bill-paying, I set everything up for automatic debit from the Key account. So my electric and gas are set up to automatically pay $75 and $30, respectively, on the 1st of each month. The electric is a budget plan at $75 per month, so that's fine, but the gas is not budget. I know it'll go up in the winter, but I plan to pay the remainder out of my regular checking account (all of this comes out of the bills account at Key.)
So I paid my $30 on the 29th of September, when I got paid, and then set up the $30 recurring payment. Several days later, I get my bill:
Previous amount due on 9/20/2006: Negative $28.75 (ie I overpaid last month too)
Payments received: $30
Balance on 10/4/06: Negative $58.75
Charges for gas service this period: $15.83
Current balance: Negative $42.92
I guess that -$42 will be offsetting a higher gas bill sometime later this winter because now that I have this all set up I don't want to touch it! We just haven't used much gas, probably partially due to our landlord putting out the furnace pilot light during the summer. For July, August, September, and October, we have used either 9 or 8 ccf's of gas, with a bill of about $15, but I kept sending them $20-25 anyway. However the bill bill go up pretty quickly soon - looking at last year, we used between 40 and 80 ccf's a month (other than January, where we used about 100, but that was because we once left the oven on at 450 all night. Oops.)
Looks like right now we are paying about $1.97 per ccf - so I estimate we'll pay between $75 and $150 a month for gas. It gets warmer again here pretty quickly, and if our neighbors keep their heat on we often don't have to, so that pretty much only applies December through March.