28th Apr 2014

Electricity bills explained

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Rising electricity bills continue to be a drain on finances and it often pays to shop around for the best deals. But if you're unsure how to compare offers, then this simple guide to electrity bills may help you secure a better deal.

Many of us simply look at our bill, compare it to the previous month, sigh about the costs and then just pay. But do you really know what you are being charged for? Are you being ripped off? What things should you consider before making the right choice of power company?

Here are some helpful hints and considerations for comparing energy rates:

Will you pay your bills on time? If so, you should choose a 'pay on time discount'. If not, you should only seek suppliers which offer flat discounts.

Always compare the rates without GST and without the discounts applied to them. This will show you what your rates will be if you can’t pay your electricity bill on time.

How long will you be living at the property? If it is for less than 24 months, ensure that there are no cancellation fees or penalties for ending your energy plan.

Find a contract with rate protection. Ask suppliers if they cap their rate increases. Some do, but most don’t.

If you speak to an energy broker or a comparison service, make sure they give you a fair comparison. Ask them who they have contracts with and who they don’t.

When comparing your electricity bill it is also useful to understand what the different rates are. If you refer to the back of your bill you will see that it is broken down into two types of charges:

1. Kilowatt Rates – This represents the quantity of electricity that you have used during the billing cycle.

2. Supply Charge – This is the measurement in cents per day that totals the fees your distributor charges to supply the power, maintain the lines and read your meters.

It is also worth knowing each of the different rates on your bill. They are broken down in the following way:

Peak Rate: Normal power use, eg: lights, fridge, etc.

Off Peak Rate: Dedicated hot water system.

Shoulder Rate: If using a smart meter.

Supply Charge: Daily fee in cents per day.

(If you have a Peak Only meter­­––and natural gas––you will not have an “off peak rate” or “shoulder rate”. This depends on the type of meter you have.)

Understanding these different rates and charges will make you better equipped to compare your current electricity rates. Now you’ll be able to shop around with more confidence.

 





COMMENTS

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peterseaford
28th Apr 2014
1:09pm
we live in Seaford Victoria and wonder if solar panels are worth the expense - have been told it would cost just less than $5000 for our home
Nightshade
28th Apr 2014
6:31pm
I TALKED TO A SOLAR SYSTEM SUPPLIER
I WANT BATTERIES TOO
OFF THE GRID
Lynda
28th Apr 2014
1:22pm
The longer you stay at the property the more value you get out of your system. Mine has paid for itself in 3 years.
geliweb
28th Apr 2014
1:53pm
We have just had a 3 KW system installed in Rye for $4500 with True Value Solar. I will update my comment in a months time to let you know if it was worth while.

Also if you do get it installed check with your electricity supplier if they give you the 8 cent feed in tariff.

In regards to comparing electricity suppliers, be careful with discount rates, always compare the Step 1 charges (the first 1020 kWh). Sometimes the discounts offered mean they have a higher electricity usage per quarter. Most users never go past their Step 1 in electricity usage.
loadmaster
29th Apr 2014
9:12am
Geliweb, I do hope you have better luck with True Value Solar than I did. The inverter developed a fault on Day 1 and it took 9 weeks for them to come out and fix it. There were so many complaints about them online, that I wished I had seen before I bought from them. Not replying to my emails was the worst problem.......so rude. Anyway, good luck with yours.
helleen
28th Apr 2014
3:03pm
Energy bills are all so confusing, on mine I have a service to property charge and then a service to property off-peak 1 charge what is the difference and why are there two. Also I just received my latest account , I was away for 20 days of that bill , yet my bill was more, how can that happen, I had turned off everything but the fridge, I just don't understand. My last account I was here all the time and I used 156kwh yet this last account with being away 20 days is saying I used 205. How is this possible, do I have a ghost in my house using the energy, I can't think of anything else. Do you have a suggestion. ?
Nightshade
28th Apr 2014
6:29pm
THE FIRE LEVY IS NOW A PART OF OUR RATES
IT USED TO BE A PART OF THE HOUSE INSURANCE POLICY
THE HOUSE INSURANCE POLICY HAS GONE UP AS A RESULT OF THE FIRE LEVY BEING TAKEN OUT OF IT
THE GST & SALES TAX HAVE GONE UP
WHAT A VERY CLEVER WAY TO GET THE TAX LEVY TWICE
Nightshade
28th Apr 2014
6:42pm
In Britain a politician is calling for the price of energy to rise significantly so as to pay for the wind turbines in the ocean which supply their energy.
HE IS WANTING TO ROB THE PEOPLE OF ENGLAND - IS WHAT HE IS ABOUT :-
To make electricity
* mining takes place at massive expense
* coal is dug up = $$$$$$
* coal is transported = $$$$$$
* coal is turned into energy = $$$$$$
The wind turbines are powered by the wind blowing freely & for free.
THE WIND TURBINES WILL PAY FOR THEMSELVES SOON ENOUGH & INDEED THE MONIES SPENT ARE GEARED SO AS TO ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN.
These crooks & shysters will try it on us over & over
peterseaford
28th Apr 2014
8:02pm
when solar panels first appeared the feed back rate was around 60 cents and then it reduced till now its around 8 cents.

How can the account be offset if it was 60 and is now only 8 - is it still worth putting panels up
loadmaster
29th Apr 2014
9:08am
Unfortunately, in Perth we only have one provider, so we can't shop around and compare companies.
Ok
1st May 2014
10:50am
The current Government may review the current policy on solar PV and may look at ditching support to individuals and businesses. I believe we all should contact our local members to make sure that fairness to people wishing to install solar PV continues. I urge people to contact Solar Citizen. http://www.solarcitizens.org.au/
It is important that all seniors defend measures which help the environment, our well being and the future.


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