Understanding your electricity bill

electricity-bulb

So, you receive your electricity bill every quarter and throw it into the "to be paid" pile. However, the more we understand our energy bill, how much we pay and why we pay it, can go a long way to helping your household manage your rising energy costs.

So, you receive your electricity bill every quarter and throw it into the “to be paid” pile. However, the more we understand our energy bill, how much we pay and why we pay it, can go a long way to helping your household manage your rising energy costs.

So let’s look at your energy bill.

What are the basic features of an electricity bill?

Your electricity retailer prepares your bill in line with your contract, which by law must be at least once every 3 months. Your retailer can put a range of information in your bill, such as offers they have available, but there is some important information that all electricity bills must show, including:

• your name, account number and address

• the total amount payable or in credit by you

• your billing period and the pay-by date for the bill

• the amount of electricity you used over the period of the bill.

How is your bill calculated?

Your electricity bill is usually made up of two key charges: a ‘supply charge’ which is a fixed cost per day and a ‘usage charge’ which is calculated based on the amount of electricity that you use and, sometimes, what time of day you use electricity. Your usage is measured by your meter overtime and is expressed as power units per hour.

How do I know what price I am paying for my energy?

Another important part of your bill is the price that you are paying for your electricity usage. This is called the tariff or rate in your contract. The most common are:

• A “Flat rate tariff” is a simple way of charging you for electricity that means you will be charged the same rate for your electricity use all day.

• A “Time-of-use tariff” is a way of charging you a different price for electricity depending on the time of day it is used. This may mean you are charged a lower price when you use your electricity outside “peak hours”.

For many people this will help you save on your electricity bill. If you are on a time-of-use tariff you can try to move your heavy usage to a cheaper time. To move your usage you might turn on your dishwasher and washing machine just before bed instead of after dinner. The prices for each time period will be listed in your contract, or you can check with your electricity retailer. Other tariffs. There are other tariff structures which electricity companies can offer. Some states and territories also have specific tariffs for different customer groups. As the electricity market changes different tariffs may become available. It is worth considering which tariff best suits your particular needs. It is important to consider which tariff is most suitable for the way that you use your electricity.

How do I know what my usage is compared to other households?

 

You can compare your usage with a similar household at this website:

www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/bill-benchmark

A comparison of the usage of similar households should also be on your bill.