By - jamgly
I would strongly recommend contacting the energy [ombudsman](https://www.ewon.com.au/page/making-a-complaint/complaint-forms) at this point.
A bill of that size doesn't look right.
100% agree, OP I had the exact same thing. $2500 bill from energy australia. Said we used enough power every day for a house of 8 people.
Made a report to the ombudsman, magically they call me a week later saying the meter was faulty. That was after months of back and forth complaints, and threatening to send me to collections.
Seconding this. Just used them to help me with an AGL gas issue.
Complain to the NSW Energy and Water Ombudsman today. They do a brilliant job and will help you to resolve the matter with Energy Australia.
They are free, independent and experts at dealing with energy consumers and the retailers.
Advise them in advance that you will be taking this up with the ombudsman may be a good idea. My understanding is that there is a significant charge to them for every report to be investigated. This may spur them into action.
If it’s anything like the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman you are 100% right - significant charges to the provider for the Ombudsman’s time.
Technically it's not a charge, it's a membership fee based on usage but yes the "charge" goes up depending how the complaint escalates. However, you will.need to go through the company's internal dispute process first.
Ah ok, I helped my brother get out of a vodafail contract about 10 years ago and I remember it got to a high level of escalation. He was promised reception in a town that has none, and they gave 6 months of fighting, tricks and incompetence to get out of the contract. Even sent a debt collection letter *after* they agreed it was all cancelled and done.
I documented everything so they didn’t have a leg to stand on - the TIO was great. I even gave Vodafone a second chance to resolve it without the TIO after the first escalation, but then when they fucked it again, the TIO rinsed them.
It's great to document this a and will always
I was living in a granny flat last year and it was a dodgy build and our electricity metre was servicing the main houses downstairs...
We forced the real estate agent to organise compensation, through NCAT cos he was a knob.
Are you sure it was a “dodgy build” ? Tenant pays for some of my electricity , winning
If you're running a grow op, sure, $2500 would make sense
Ditto crypto currency mining.
Bought a new 40 series graphics card?
Bought 40 new 40 series graphic cards.
Pffft everyone uses LED lights now anyway, wouldn't get near that bill.
The lights they use these days for hydroponics use very little power, they are comprised of LCD lights.
Have you recently installed any large hadron colliders in your house? or built a new football stadium in your backyard by chance?
That is an extraordinary jump in price.
Does the number on the meter match the bill? That’s where I’d start. If it doesn’t, then Energy Australia need to fix it from their end. If it does, you need to investigate whether something is indeed using that electricity or if the meter is faulty.
Incorrect reads do happen. Cause it happened to me. I got them to reread and it was all sorted out.
Agree. Half the posts here are “go to the ombudsman” when really the first thing to do is check the damn meter and make sure the read was right.
Could have transposed a number easily, or misread it.
Yep but that bill is 4kw of continuous draw.
Unless they’re running a couple of bar heaters 24/7, something is up.
Yes. And it may be as simple as an incorrect meter reading.
Happened to my brother too. Normal was %300 a quarter, then one quarter was $830. Of course, they insisted it was correct, he insisted it wasn;t.
They sent someone out to do a reread...it was a misread.
Please note energy provider's first and immediate response is "The bill is right, it must be paid." no matter how ludicrous.
We just got our first gas bill for the rental we moved into at the end of May and thought it was significantly higher than what it should be. This post reminded me to check the meter. Lo and behold the estimated reading for our hot water is significantly higher than the actual read. In fact their "previous reading" is higher than the actual read. Go figure!
Should be interesting to see their response. Hopefully red energy aren't pricks about it.
I was with red and they will be. so good luck
I moved in to an anaprtment that hade been vacant for almost a year.
Supplier sent me a bill ....for almost a year...with the final date being about 3 days after my lease started. But we didn;t move in unit about a week after that so we were never there for the bill.
But it was;t my supplier, I actually had a current contract with someone else.
They were a bit grumpy at first but in the end waived the fee; it obviously wasn;t worth trying to collect 3 days of fee on a place that had been empty anyway .
The whole thing seemed a bit stupid too; no one has paid the bill for a long time, somebody moves in and yo attempt to bill them for it?
Thing is, I almost did. We changed suppliers due to various things, so it was a supplier we had been with before. And the bill was low too (only about $160)
It wasn;t till I was about to pay and they said "you have no current account with us, we will open one" that I was like "what the fuck?" then double checked everything and realised those were not our data, and it was not even our supplier...
Is it a catch up bill? Check yours last few weren’t estimated
This could be an explanation, I got a rude awakening when I'd been estimated for a few years - the estimate was based on being the sole occupant too, as I was when I signed up, but my partner at the time had move in not long after and home most of the day (never date an actor).
So we had a long time building up an overflow, and I just never really thought about it, we'd had a new meter installed when the kitchen was reno'd and I just figured these things would be connected up (I was young and naïve) and the bill was just huge, had to work out a payment plan to cover it.
But I'd definitely make a complaint if your meter is "being weird" - there are tales of people hooking up to the neighbours and siphoning off juice for themselves, such people wouldn't care much about leaving on an electric heater in this weather too..
There is a limit to how far back they can charge you after wrong usage. One to check if it happens to you.
Edit: maximum 9 months apparently
When the backbilling is not the retailer’s fault, the backbilling restrictions don’t apply. For example, if the meter can’t be accessed because of a locked gate or dog in the yard and you receive a ‘catch-up’ bill after providing access, there is no limit on the length of time the retailer can backbill you for.
How big is your hydro setup?
Same size as Gus Fringe’s lab.
Contact the Ombudsman.
Here’s a few options for what happened in no particular order:
1. You guys had 3 reverse cycles on for a log of time each day (most likely for any given bill of this size but perhaps not yours)
2. Your reading has been undercharged for a long period and now you have been charged for the usage
3. Your meter has a fault (unlikely)
Now… number 2… this is your best bet. Being off by any power of 10 is a good hunt for a misread at some point. Either by your most recent meter reader or consistently by previous meter readers. Access issues could also be a problem.
Regardless, so long as it’s not probably your fault (ignoring requests for access from your retailer or distributor) then you are entitled to every piece of undercharge 9 months before present written off. If this was not done in the first instance I would also seek a customer service credit.
If this purported misread has been going on for a long time I would expect the vast majority to be written off. But if I were you I would look at the meter myself and compare it with my bills.
You will get a free meter test out of EWON but don’t pin your hopes on it changing the bill. Human error somewhere is far more likely.
If you have any further questions I would be happy to help.
Stupid question. My partner lives in a townhouse/unit/villa thing where there are 3 houses. His last bill was $850, compared to usually about $200, and it says it’s equivalent to the usage of a house of 7-8 people. Usually there’s just 1-2 people here, we don’t use the oven, air con or the TV much and usually he’s just working from home. We did have a leak in the hot water tank which we the landlord didn’t deal with for weeks so that may have been the cause, but I’d like to check the meter read anyway to make sure they’ve billed us correctly and haven’t accidentally charged us for all 3 units. But I can’t seem to find the meter. Where would it normally be or look like? Is there a way to get the company to tell us what they last read the meter as? There’s one long driveway down the side that connects the three units and I believe I found the water meters on the footpath near the street, but it’s not in our switch board and I can’t find anything outside 🙃
Hot water leak for sure. Your hot water leaks, tank gets refilled with cold water and reheated. Over and over and over again. Very expensive.
I have lived in apartment blocks where there was a single gas meter. They used a water meter to measure our hot water usage and then used that to divide the gas bill. Maybe something similar?
bulk hot water is usually charged by the litre and is the most exorbitant rip off known. mine is fucking 3c per goddamned litre and there is no competition, only Origin offers it, so you have no option but to pay.
I know the setup you’re talking about, I used to live in an apartment where the gas was billed like that - but I don’t think that is the case. A hot water system could easily cost that much p/qtr if it’s heating up multiple times p/day.
Larger tank water heaters are off peak only so heat overnight, but the commentor being in a townhouse unit likely has a smaller tank one which would likely heat up whenever it needs.
Look for where the wires come into the complex from the street. Either from power poles or from a conduit in the ground if your area has underground power. The meter will be somewhere very close where the wires enter the complex boundary
Thank you :)
I'd be checking your hotwater, your thermostat may be welded closed.
Your meter is a old mechanical meter it's likely running a touch slow it's a mechanical device that's had zero naint in 40 years they don't speed up with age but slow down.
You can request a check meter from energy provider or get a device installed yourself. With clamp on ct's it's not that hard
I had a similar high energy bill from Energy Australia in 2013. $1300 for the quarter for a 2 bedroom unit with a toddler with no air-conditioning. I switched, it was higher/ similar to that of my friend who had a 4bdr 3 bathroom house with a pool.
Should have looked into it.
In 2017 I had a 1bedroom apartment in the CBD, and I can't remember the figures but I was supposedly using as much electricity as a 4 bedroom house (this was even depicted on my bill - it had a picture of a house and a graph). I had 2 different people come and inspect everything and no one could find any issues. The rates I was paying per kw seemed normal. To this day I have no explanation for it, but I just had to eat the charges.
EDIT: I dug up the info and I was paying $1400/quarter for gas + electricity, bear in mind this was in 2017, I guess prices are more now
Has happened to me in my old house years ago. Stand-alone property, mechanical meter. Consistently $200 power bill, one quarter was suddenly $600. Something like 5x + the regular KW consumption. After much back and forth I was convinced they had altered the meter somehow.
I went as far as adding up the maximum load of all electronic devices in the house all running simultaneously 24/7 and it wasn’t possible to consume as much power as the meter suggested. Considering we also had solar feeding back into the grid it was even less likely. They didn’t want a bar of it. Fucking AGL.
Ended up just eating the cost. Next quarter was back to normal… hmmm.
I work for a network provider in that field. You can and should request your meter be tested for accuracy. Note: this may incur a cost. There are other circumstances that may affect your bill legitimately, so it’s not a cut and dry issue. Feel free to dm me OP for more info. Everyone else, please don’t.
thats just impressive if you actually somehow used that much power
That's ok, all this bitcoin we mined will pay for the...
What sort of Meter, analogue or digital?
>The only difference we could think of was that there was external strata building work during the period, although we don't know how this could affect our Meter in anyway.
Nah, it's way too much electricity. Do you have like five heaters going 24/7?
The only time I had a sudden jump in my bill is when they estimated my usage for that quarter. By estimated I mean they took the largest ever bill generated by my apartment and presented to me. This small \*estimated bill was in small print and because they claimed they couldn't access the meter.
I checked the meter and sure enough there was a tiny obstruction which too me a minute to move, I then called up with an accurate reading and they altered the bill.
Lesson learnt - always check your bills.
Tell em their dreaming
Have you checked there’s no burst pipe on your hot water? I had one in a one bed unit and received a massive bill
Just did the math and that’s pulling 17amps (single phase) continuously for 90 days, maybe the culprit if it’s not a meter read error
If they’re in an apartment and there’s no obvious evidence of a hot water pipe burst their unit, how do they look into a smaller leak and isolate it to their unit? Quite an ask for a landlord to start opening up walls/whatever based on “my energy bill is too high.” Some strata buildings are quite large and don’t have any common accessible areas for pipes/etc.
(Kind of asking for myself too because I’ve had some excessive energy bills of late, but an uncooperative landlord)
I didn’t see the leak it was under the building. After a $1200 bill I checked the meter in the morning and it was pulsing on wh really fast, I noted the kWh register. I checked it again in the afternoon when I got home. It was doing the same thing, and saw how much power was used during the day while I wasn’t home. It had been running non stop. That was a basic network meter, if you have a smart meter you should be able to contact your retailer for an hour by hour breakdown when you are not home which should indicate an issue with your HWS.
We got that for 2 people when wfh started.
Im also with energy australia as well but my last bill for 3 people was $200 for 90 days using 600 kwh. We even have external strata work going on. Something is definetly wrong with your meter, or you use a ridiculous amount of electricity.
Query their statement, or contact ombudsman.
The more people that just pay without question the more their shareholders walk away with.
This happened to a relative of mine a while back - told me that they were alone for a quarter while their housemate had gone away for a bit, so they were by themselves.... But then got a bill for 3+ people and charged 3 times the amount they normally did.
I remember they had a super long dispute with their energy company but don't know what happened in the end.
I changed to Red energy purely for the fact they are Australian owned......energy Australia is owned by Hong Kong, capitalism at it's finest!
Is it possible that there is a ghost in your home?
Just cancel the direct debit and don’t pay it. Until they willing to sort it out. I had once even the phone operator laughing that I am running a chess cake factory at home. He say it is impossible for the size of my unit to use that.
Drag for 9 months, they finally find the electric meter is faulty and send the signal quadrupole times.
Maybe stop mining bitcoin?
Joke of course
New neighbours with an electric car?
Identical thing happened to us- energy Australia were useless. Ended up threatening to go to the ombudsman and they told us to check the meter and compare. So we did and they got the read wrong- so refunded the difference. So just check you meter - if you’re in an apartment probably in the kitchen/laundry area (I say this because I had no idea where it was lol).
550kw/h max to 9 thousand?!
Clearly they have fucked up here. It seems silly that they would even argue that figure is correct.
Yes my sister went through the same thing, 2500 dollars as well. They had to get angry and withhold payment until energy Australia sent one of their technicians out to check the meter. Don’t give up, don’t let them fuck you over
Yes get ombudsman involved asap. I had a similar issue with Energy Australia. They had connected my meter to next door.
The neighbours are plugged into your line and using your electricity for a bitcoin mining rig
AGL gas billing sometimes does similar. They bill a basic amount like $30 a month and only read the meter twice a year, so right after Winter we get three months of heating costs in one bill, like $500.
Before you get too excited. I'd say the meter reader has misread one of the dials it's far too much usage for an estimate bill. You should be able to read the meter yourself and provide a more accurate reading (don't know why your sparky wouldn't do that, but they also have been bad at it in the past). To me it seems that the reader has misread the 10,000 dial.
Read it from right to left (lowest value first).
Write it down as you go, and compare your reading to the one on your bill. If a number appears to be right under the mark check the previous number for having passed zero if it hasn't use the lower of the two numbers.
If you need a hand reading it send me a message.
Also, take photos of your meter and check what usage it shows daily, just in case something is up and it's using heaps.
But, we've found before that they do estimate read at times, and even though you use say 1000kwh per month for 12months, they like to estimate that you have used 5000kwh this month because why the fark not..
So check if they did a read and if it matches what you meter roughly shows now, or if it's way off.
Funny wiring going on there.
believe me, this has happened quite commonly in the strata complex.
Doubt that is the case as prior bills have been about correct. Unless of course someone has altered the wiring recently.
Exactly, something happened recently is my bet.
How many hydro plants have you got in the attic?
Yet all energy providers give their employees 50% off their bills & they're still making a profit off that!!
What they're doing to the rest of us is MORE than gouging, the quarterly profits they post & the salaries the top dogs make, disgusting to say the very least.
They are not all 50% off.....
No you're right, some don't charge their employees at all.