Five top reasons your energy bill can be high

There are a number of reasons why electricity bills can be higher at different times of the year which can lead to bill shock.  Lumo Energy has identified the top five reasons it receives calls from its customers about higher energy bills and a majority of the time it can be related to lifestyle changes.  

bill shock

These changes can be determined by changes in the weather, school holidays, more people living at a property, longer billing cycles, type of bill and more … In addition we look at how to compare usage to previous bills:

1. Weather

Weather changes are a key factor that can lead to increased energy consumption.  Victoria has just experienced one of its coldest winters and it is predicted it will have a long hot summer.
Being aware of the times of year when you reach for heating or air conditioning to live at a comfortable temperature.  See our energy saving tips to manage your use of both to help reduce your bills during these extreme changes in weather.

    2.  Comparing your energy bills

    It’s common for people to compare a new bill to the last one received when a bill appears high.  Comparing a bill to the previous month doesn’t provide you with the best comparison, especially when looking at seasonal changes.  To understand increases in costs, you should look at the consumption amount on the new bill and compare it to the usage on the bill received at the same time last year.

    If you are signed up to My Account, you can view all your bills up to two years, pay bills as well view your usage history.

    3. More people = more usage

    School holidays, the festive season, family and friends staying for a week or more all adds up to more energy being used.   More people means more energy is being consumed and generally for longer periods of time.  With regard to school holidays the kids are home more and you may well have a child minder or family to help out, so appliances and potentially heating or air conditioning will be on longer.

    4. They type of energy bill

    In Victoria, you will receive your electricity bill each month if you have an active smart meter and your gas bill every two months.  This means, that some months you may receive your electricity and gas bill together.  Therefore it is good to check the top right hand side of the bill to see if it’s a dual or single fuel bill before reading the amount.  It’s common for people to go straight to the bill amount and not notice that it may be a dual fuel bill.

    5. Estimation or Actual read

    If you have a smart meter, you’ll usually receive an actual read.

    If you don’t have a smart meter, you will receive either an actual read or an estimate.  If you look at your energy usage on your bill it will say what type of usage has been measured.  The date of your next meter read, give or take two business days, will be shown on your bill.

    If you have received a low estimated read and your actual read is a lot higher, this will show as a higher amount on your next bill.  

    Delaying an actual read could result in a larger bill in the future if previous usage was underestimated; this is why it’s important to ensure you allow clear access to your meter for a reading.

    If you are registered with My Account, you can submit a gas or electricity meter reading (not available for smart meters or solar). If you are not with My Account, it's easy to register.

    Date: 24 November 2015
    Category: Energy Facts

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