When you start making concerted efforts to save energy in your household or business, it’s important to understand your energy bill so you can see whether the changes are having an impact on your overall energy use.
What costs make up my bill?
Your bill is made up of the amount of energy you consume, multiplied by the price per unit. The price per unit can vary according to the time of day you use your electricity and what sort of contract you’re on. It can also vary depending on where you live, as each state and territory makes its own decisions about the costs of the various components involved in energy supply.
Your gas and electricity tariff has two parts; a daily supply charge (sometimes called a service charge or fixed charge) and a usage charge (a consumption or variable charge).
This daily supply charge is the cost of getting electricity or gas to your place, even if you don’t use any and appears on your bill as a total amount or in cents per day.
The usage charge is the cost of the electricity or gas you use and appears on your bills in cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh) for electricity or cents per megajoule (c/MJ) for gas.
Some bills might show more than one usage charge. For example, a time of use offer might have different usage charges for different blocks of time, which are usually called peak, shoulder, and off-peak.
What if I think my bill is wrong?
If you think your bill is incorrect you should contact your energy retailer immediately. An energy retailer must review a bill if a customer requests this.
If you’re still not happy, you can talk to the energy ombudsman in your state or territory (an ombudsman is a free and independent dispute resolution service). You can also get more information from the Australian Energy Regulator online or by calling 1300 585 165.