In this article, I’ll check my electricity bill, and show you how you can do the same. I’ll also use a residential electricity bill estimator Australia to show you how to calculate how much you should be paying each year… then we can talk about what you’re actually paying!
Just a heads up: This article is going to focus on how to check an electricity bill to ensure you’re paying a fair rate. But if all you want to do is take the next step and find yourself a better deal, we explain how on our cheap electricity page.
Let’s kick this off with a quick overview of current Australian electricity prices, followed by a review of my own electricity bill.
Australian retail electricity prices, June 2018
|State or territory||Retail price c/kWh||Retail price $/MWh|
|New South Wales||33.33c/kWh||$333.3/MWh|
Just a quick FYI, I got the above data from:
- SA, QLD, VIC, NSW: Cannstar Blue.
- TAS: Aurora Energy.
- The NT: …from the creatively named PowerWater.
- WA: Synergy.
You might also note I quote prices in cents per kWh (kiloWatt hour). This is the standard measure that you’ll see on your bill. For a deeper discussion of Australian electricity prices, please click through to the previous post. There we discuss both wholesale electricity prices (aka the electricity spot price) and retail markups, as well as the cost of electricity in Australia per kWh versus $/MWh (dollars per Megawatt hour).
Next, let’s see what numbers were on my electricity bill.
My electricity bill: Drumroll, please…
This is the second page, which has the most important data: Quantity, Rate, Supply Charge. I’m in Victoria, and I’m currently paying:
- Rate: 24.2500-cents/kWh
- Supply charge: $1.1756/day.
According to Cannstar Blue, the average Victorian customer is paying 27.56c/kWh. So I’m about 14% below the average, which I’m pretty happy with. (But hey – I work for an electricity broker – so you’d be worried if I couldn’t get myself a deal!)
In fact, my building is on an embedded network, which is meant to benefit residents with lower rates. I have two options: Use the Body Corporate Committee’s recommended provider, or set up an account with any retailer I choose. I’m with the former, and they seem to be providing a fair deal.
What about the supply charge? I’ve seen a lot of residential electricity invoices, and these can range from 60 cents to $1.20, so mine is on the high side. However, as a rule of thumb, about $1 per day is reasonable. Combined with the rate, I’m happy.
But rate is only half the story, I’m also interested in how my usage compares to the average. To determine that, we’ll need to use an electricity bill estimator (Australia).
Energy Made Easy’s electricity bill estimator (Australia)
The Australian Government’s Energy Made Easy website provides an easy-to-use benchmarking tool. Simply enter your postcode, how many people there are in your household, and a few other questions, and you should see something like this:
As you can see, the figures are by seasons. So I went back and found my usage for March, April and May.
From my electricity bill, I used 458 kWh in March, 410 kWh in April, and 351kWh in May = 1,219kWh total for Autumn.
According to the Energy Made Easy website, the average for similar households in my area in Autumn was 1,253kWh.
So I’m about 3% below average. Not a lot by any standards, but on the right side of average! Again, I’m happy with that but will be looking to improve further in the second half of the year.
Now, it’s your turn to check your rates and usage.
Checking your electricity bill
Grab your latest electricity bill and scroll back up to the table at the top of this article to see how you fare. Your bill might be different to mine; if that’s the case, the Energy Made Easy website also has an excellent guide on how to read your bill.
If you’re paying above the average prices, contact your retailer and ask for a discount. Commonly, retailers will entice new customers with a good offer (this is called a “market offer”), but they will quietly switch you onto a “standing offer” at the end of your contract. These rates can be much higher.
It is thought that about 1 in 4 Australians are on standing offers (according to the Australian Energy Regulator). If you are, it’s so easy to ask your retailer to put you back on a market offer. I’ve seen customers save up to 30% with a phone call, which can easily translate to $100’s per annum.
Also, how did your energy usage measure up? If your energy efficiency is below par, you might consider giving Bulk Energy a call.
If you’re looking for a full service electricity broker to help you find cheap electricity rates for your Commercial & Industrial (C&I) site, small business (tariff) site, or to manage your residential (home) energy: Look no further than Bulk Energy. Contact us and start saving.