Electricity Bill of $1600 for a Quarter

Dear OzBargainers,
I just moved to ACT from Sydney and received my 1st quartely electricity bill. To my surprise, the quarterly bill was 1600$ after 9% discount. I feel that i am being ripped off. We are just 2 people living in the property. We both work full time. So, we just have time to cook dinner only. We dont have aircon, we don't use heater instead use an electric blanket to save electricity. We have the same appliances as that in sydney where we used to get a quarterly electricity bill between 400 to 600$ after discount (All electricity, no gas). Apart from this, during connection, i had stated to connect the electricity to my unit on 23rd of April but as per the bill, the billing starts from 14 of April.

I called the electricity provider (Energy Australia) and they asked me to recheck the meter reading if that is correct which i have sent an email to my agent on how to get access to it. In case of billing start date, they said that they will just change the billing start date and the amount will remain the same.

Please suggest me what i should do.

Comments

  • +7 votes

    Please suggest me what i should do.

    Check meter reading when you moved in vs now is first step. Compare that to suggested usage on bill.

    •  

      The meter unit is locked and i can't access it. I called the realestate and they asked me to send an email which i did this morning but haven't received any email from them yet.

      • +1 vote

        Call them. What about the on-site building management? I hope you have meter readings from day you moved in.

        •  

          April was the peak of covid. So, i couldn't get hold of anything and getting a unit to rent was a big thing at that time with virtual inspection in place. I don't have any meter readings of that time. I am still wondering how they can charge me 10 days ahead of when i moved in and when i raise that issue, they simply offered me to change the billing date.

          • +1 vote

            @Np321: Sounds like you didn't advise the utilities company of your move-in date at the time and initial meter readings then. That could be an expensive mistake.

            •  

              @Hybroid: No, i had advised them of my move in date. I had inspected the property on 19th of April and was approved on 20th April. So, i applied for a new connection on the 20th and mentioned the move in date on the application as well. Still, i was billed from 14th April.

  • +5 votes

    Do you have an electric water heater? Is it leaking?

    •  

      Yes i do. It was not working properly before. The hot wate rused to run out in less than 5 minutes but this issue has been fixed. No any leaks in the heater.

      • +1 vote

        How long after you moved in was it fixed?

        •  

          Within 10 days, the electrician checked and confirmed no electric issues. It was plumbing issue and was fixed.

  • +2 votes

    $1600 just for Kw usage or does it include the evoenergy fees for reconnection?
    Similar base rates to what you were on in Sydney?

    Any relation to Danger321

    • +1 vote

      So, there was a connection charge of 86$ and the base rate is 25c/kwh, i get 9% discount on it. This bill i received was after a discount of 160$. The daily usage rate is 86c/day. The rates are similar to that of Sydney. What is bothering me is that i used to have total quarterly usage of between 1500kwh in summer and approximately 2000kwh in winter for 3.5 years when i was in sydney. But now, this has significantly risen to 6800kwh/quarter, more than 4 times my normal usage and i have no any massive electrcal equipment to justify this change.

      • +2 votes

        You're in the dark without accurate meter readings…

        FWIW.. the 9% discount plan gets you an 88c per day supply charge and 24.431 c/kWh whereas their ACT No frills is 77c per day supply charge and 23.1 c/kWh…

        •  

          Mate, let us assume normal usage of 2000kwh for 90 days.
          No frills: 77×90+2000×23.1= $531.3
          Mine one is 24.431c-9%= 22.23c/kwh
          Cost= 88×90+2000×22.23= $523.80 (cheaper)

          In conclusion, they are both similar. I am just in dilema, how can i use 6800kwh in a quarter with 2 people, both adults with full time job.

          • +1 vote

            @Np321: Sooner you gain access to the locked meter unit the better then…

      •  

        Was your usage all at at a flat rate? No time of use or controlled load?

        •  

          Yes. It is flat rate

  • +7 votes

    Someone is stealing your electricity https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/530374

    • +2 votes

      Sounds like someone’s running a grow house, never mind just stealing the power 😝

      •  

        I was gonna say bitcoin mining

        •  

          You reckon

  • +1 vote

    Did energy australia do a meter read or are they just guessing the estimated usage?

    •  

      Its a meter read as per the bill.

  • +2 votes

    Check the usage date period and make sure its only a quarter.

    Get a monitor installed in the board(if they let you) - https://reductionrevolution.com.au/products/efergy-elite-cla...

    • +3 votes

      That sounds like a smart meter with extra steps

    •  

      Its for a quarter only.

  •  

    Thats not right.

  • +1 vote

    Is the Hot water take electric ?
    1/3 bill involve heating and cooling
    Could be something wrong with the hot water tank

    • +7 votes

      Saw a tenant with a bills like this once… They had been paying it for years without complaining. When they moved out a thorough update of the premises was done and during that it was found that the electric HWS was an ex commercial unit that had 5? elements. A further check found that 3 of the contacts were stuck and running all the time!
      The first thing to check with big elec bills is the elec HWS…

      •  

        This story doesn't add up. If 3 elements were on continuously there would've been considerable amount of water leaking from the pressure valve that the tenants didn't notice? and their bills would be maybe around $3000 plus their normal usage per quarter?
        If there wasn't a leak, then it didn't happen.

  • -2 votes

    Stopped reading at $1600 = 1600$.

  • +4 votes

    The average household electricity consumption is around 15kWh which at $0.25/kWh works out to be around $3.75 per day or $1369 per year which is $342 per quarter.

    https://ahd.csiro.au/other-data/typical-house-energy-use/

    If you are getting a $1600 bill per quarter then you must be using somewhere around 60kWh per day which is a lot.

    If you have the right type of power meter with a flashing light measuring 1Wh and if the meter is accessible then you could install one of these to monitor the energy yourself:

    https://www.wattsclever.com.au/products/wireless-energy-moni...

    Good luck.

    •  

      Yeah that's what is worrying me, instead of 15kwh/day, its 67kwh/day which is 4 times average usage. And i don't have any fancy item to justify this usage.

  • +6 votes

    I would say the old Tennant have an early move out date and you are paying their usage. You need to request a daily breakdown. This will show if it is legit or not.

    •  

      Yeah i am thinking that too. Can you suggest me what i should ask with the provider to get this detail?
      Unfortunately, i didn't take the initial movein reading.

    •  

      A*L tried to rip me off like this. Always have the meter reading photos of Gas/Electricity/Water on the day you move in. Getting back to the provider with the photos and that you will take them to the Ombudsman will sort out things.

  • +3 votes

    I'd check to see if you have a 'smart meter'. If you do, then you should be able to obtain the 30min power usage details.
    Smart meters were installed in all VIC residential installs as far as I know, I would have expected other states to have done similar.

    You'd need to know your meter number, which should be near the top of your power bill, or at least somewhere on it.

    With that information you could at least see if the data makes sense, like it has the ebbs and flows of expected usage.
    If it has really large peaks that you can't correlate to your actual usage, then it would warrant further follow up.

  • +1 vote
    1. Once you have access to your meter, check the readings Vs the Bill to ensure you have been billed correctly (Check actual vs estimate)
    2. I would then read your meter and obtain the readings and check this at the same time each day. This will give you your daily consumption. Compare this against your bill, if it is the same - its something your are using in the house/unit. If its less than your daily figure on your current bill then your next bill should be less. (You can calculate this manually if you know your daily average)
    3. How may tariffs/meters at the new premise? One, Two? Does it have standard rate & off peak rate? The new address may only have one rate and no "off-peak" rate making your bill much higher.'
    4. Compare your current (high) bill against your previous premise. No two premises are the same but you should be able to tell at a glance if the old premise had peak & off peak metering Vs the new premise that may not.
      All of the above could factor into a higher bill than normal.
  •  

    Items that run up electricity bills:
    Using hot water when washing clothes (turn off hot water tap)
    Faulty hot water system (if electric)
    Using dryer to dry clothes (instead of hanging out)
    Any heater running on or about 2400w.

    Electric blankets should only be turned on 10mins befoire going to be and then turned off, otherwise will consume a large amount of power!

    Check and see what applicances you have plugged in and turn off at power point when not in use

    Also compare tariff/rate with last bill in NSW.

  • +1 vote

    Had a similar problem ages ago, had to check every appliance to find out it was an either a faulty meter or faulty circuit within the house that was causing the extremely high electrical bills. You will have to get those energy meters and record the use of every appliance, for the lights you will have to look at the manufacturers spec sheet or use a default calculation. Also take photos of your meter at the same time day and night.

    • +1 vote

      BTW i get a bill for 1200 a quarter but i run the ducted system 24/7, swimming pool on 24/7. And the house is stocked with fridges, freezers, tvs and all sorts of appliances. There is something dodgy going on with your electricity or your electrical company.

      •  

        No ducted system, no swimming pool, 1 Refrigerator with 4.5 stars, still got that bill mate.

        • +1 vote

          I noticed a few people had similar issues with energy Australia and AGL. Now they have done this, you need to request access to a visible meter and electrical panel to validate the bill. Also lodge a appeal with the electrical ombudsman once you have gathered the information on your electrical appliance usage.

          •  

            @Will Mcdonald: So, after getting access to the meter, i keep record of my daily usage for a week and lodge an appeal with ombudsman.

            • +1 vote

              @Np321: Between now and until you get access to your meter, go down to bunnings and get those energy meter reading devices and log how much each appliance is using, fridge, tv, washing machine per hour of use. Put it in a spreadsheet. Once you get access to the meter, take a photo of the reading day and night and also check your fuses and connections to see if anyone is tapped into your meter. It's extremely strange the meter is locked considering it would be impossible for Ausgrid to get a reading done. And always be cautious dealing with live wires

    •  

      Will do this as soon as i get access to meter.

  •  

    That is extremely excessive.
    I would have them review the meter reading.
    You could be paying for previous tenants usage

  •  

    Does the supplier have a record of the last bill for the premises' previous tenants, and was it an estimate?

  • +1 vote

    1) Call the supplier (not retailer) & create an account.
    2) View your electricity usage online hourly/daily/weekly/monthly views.
    3) Spot where the anomaly lies (if there is one) drilling down to 30min usage (if necessary).
    4) Argue your case with with the retailer using actual usage data.
    5) If your case is good, but they are being difficult, advise them that you will take it to the ombudsman.
    6) Expect & accept a fair result.

    •  

      Will the supplier just create the account for me or do i need to explain the details.
      If you have any idea please share with me.
      Thanks

      • +1 vote

        Call them and ask them. It’s really not very difficult.

  • +1 vote

    I have seen this similar case on a current affair, either the meter is faulty or someone's been drawing power from your unit. Either way get an electrician to come and check. https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/videos/power-bill-...

  • +1 vote

    In the ACT they don't turn off the electricity to a property when someone moves out and 'disconnects' their account. Possibly some usage occurred between the last bill issued to the previous occupant and you moving in, and this has just been added to your bill. I've heard of this happening before. Not sure what you can do about it if you don't have meter readings from when you moved in, but at least if this is the issue, your next bill should be more reasonable. You could check the date of the meter reading with Energy Australia?

  •  

    6800kwh a day

    Mate, is your oven on 24/7? Otherwise your HWS might have a high temperature threshold and spends the day keeping water warm

  •  

    I hear the ombudsman is very quiet at the moment. Just go straight to them, they'll sort it out.