Understanding Energy BillWhen you get your energy bill, do you simply look for the amount that’s due and by when? Most of us do, but there is more to our energy bills than the lump sum. And although the other parts of the bill look complicated and hard to understand, knowing how to read them can help cut down the confusion and give you a better understanding of how you and your household uses energy and where the costs stem from.

Although every energy bill is different depending on your retailer, this is a rough guide of what will be included on your bill and what it means.

Account Summary

Usually found on the front page of your bill, the account summary summarises the amount you owe, as well as past payments, any overdue amounts, or discounts or rebates.

Retailer and Distributor Contact Details

Your energy bill should also contain the contact details of both your energy retailer, as well as the distributor. Your energy retailer is who sells you the energy your home uses. There are a number of retailers in each area, and consumers have a choice as to which retailer they use. The energy distributor is responsible for the poles and wires that connect your home to the electricity network. There will only be one energy distributor that services your area.

Energy Use Comparison

From October 1 2012, by law all electricity retailers will be required to provide their customers with a chart or graph that outlines how your household’s energy consumption compares with that of similar households in your area. This information is helpful in understanding whether there is room for your house to run more efficiently, and may be the impetus for implementing some energy efficiency practices and reducing the cost of your bill.

Billing period and tariffs

This section will outline the time period that the bill accounts for, as well as the tariff that you are being charged. If you are considering switching your energy retailer, you can compare the tariff you are being charged to other offers.

Usage in kilowatt hours (kWh)

This section of your bill outlines how much electricity you have used in total over the billing period. This information is a useful benchmark if you are looking to reduce your household’s energy consumption. Take note of this figure and try to reduce it by next energy bill.

Your energy bill can look like a complex beast, but taking the time to understand and read each part of it will make you a more informed customer and allow you to better understand how you use electricity and energy in the home and how that translates into the amount you are asked to pay with every bill.

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