At home

Understanding your bill

Your utility bill should contain all the information you need to find out how much energy you are saving – or wasting.


The ‘Compare your usage’ section of the bill shows whether you are using more or less electricity or gas than previous periods. Your water bill should also carry this information.


The price your supplier (or ‘retailer’) charges for providing energy to your home under your contract is called the tariff, which includes:

  • The daily supply charge, which is a fixed charge for supplying the service, not based on how much energy you use. It covers the wholesale cost of buying energy, as well as the cost of building and maintaining pipes and infrastructure networks, transport and distribution to your property. There are also State and Federal ‘green costs’, which go towards programs to save energy and develop renewable energy.
  • The consumption charge is variable and based on the amount you pay for each unit of electricity or gas you use. Depending on your contract, this will either be based on a flat rate for each unit or on price bands according to what time of day units were used (e.g. off-peak or on peak hours).

Resolving issues

If you have any concerns about your bill, raise it with your energy supplier first. Their phone number will be clearly marked on the bill.

Information on the bill

Most energy retailers send bills in the post, or via email, every quarter (sometimes more regularly for your gas supply). Every bill should include:

  • Your name, address and the date.
  • How much you need to pay (including any credits or money owed from previous bills) and when you need to pay it by (some suppliers charge a penalty if you pay your bill late).
  • Your meter number. The number on your bill should match the number on your meter.
  • The billing period in which you used the energy you're being charged for.
  • The meter readings on which the amount of energy you've used during the billing period is calculated, measured in units of kilowatt hours (kWh) for electricity and megajoules (MJ) for gas. If your bill is based on an estimate of use, this should be clearly marked on the bill.
  • The amount you are being charged you for each unit of electricity or gas. If the retailer has price bands according to the time of day the energy is used, these should be provided on the bill.
  • The daily supply charge for the billing period.
  • Any other fees or charges being applied.
  • Any amount credited to your account as part of a rebate or concession.

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Page last updated: 10 December 2015