How to read your electricity bill

Below is a simplified example of a typical electricity bill. It may be useful to have your own electricity bill handy to compare.

Jo Citizen
123 Brown Street
Brownsville ACT 1234

Payment summary

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Payment Summary

Your payment summary contains a summary of your electricity charges. It can include:

  • the amount you owe
  • amounts you have recently paid
  • overdue amounts
  • adjustments
  • discounts and rebates.
Tax invoice:
100000001234
Issued:
12 August 2014
Opening balance:
$498.70
Payments received - Thank you
$498.70
Balance carried forward:
$0.00

New charges

Usage and supply charges: (see over for details)
$766.01
GST included in new charges:
$76.60
Credits and rebates: (see over for details)
$380.19 CR
Total amount due:
$462.42

OR
Pay by 28 August 2014 to receive a 5% pay on time discount

PAY BY 5pm
28 August 2014
and only pay:
$439.30
GST included in discount
$39.94

Payment slip

Customer number:
123456
Due date:
28 Aug 14
Amount due:
$462.42
Amount due if paid by
28 Aug 14:
$439.30

Where to call for help

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Retailer contact details

Your retailer is the company that bills you for your electricity. If you have a question about your bill or electricity contract, you should contact your retailer.

Enquiries & moving home (8am - 6pm Local time Mon - Fri)
13 xx xx
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Distributor contact details

Your distributor is responsible for the poles, wires and meter that connect you to the electricity network. Sometimes your distributor's name is included on your bill, other times their phone number is listed beside 'Faults and emergencies'. Your distributor's contact details are generally on the right-hand side of the front page of your bill, just below your retailer's contact details.

You should contact your distributor for faults and emergencies relating to your electricity supply.

Tip: This information may help you compare electricity offers on Energy Made Easy.

Faults & Emergencies (24 hrs) Aussie Electricity Supplies
13 xx xx
Credit card payment (Processing fee may apply, see over for details)
1300 xxx xxx

Your account details

Account Number:
12345678999
Total amount due:
$464.42
If you pay on time (5% discount):
$439.30
Due Date
28 Aug 14
Overdue amount
$0.00
Due date:
-
Your current energy plan is:
Flexisaver (time of use)
Benefits applied to this account:
xxx Government energy concession

Your usage statistics

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Electricity usage comparison

From 1 October 2012, all electricity retailers selling electricity in states or territories who have commenced the new National Energy Retail Law are required to provide a graph or table of your electricity usage compared to similar sized households in your area.

The comparison of your electricity usage may be on the front or back page of your bill.

In some states, retailers may add information about greenhouse gas emissions.

Your average daily usage & greenhouse gas emission graph.

Average cost per day:
$x.xx
Average daily usage:
xxx.xx kWh
Same time last year:
xxx.xx kWh

Compare your average daily usage above with other households in your area using the table below.

Household size 1
Person
2
People
3
People
4
People
Season Summer 13.9
kWh
17.4
kWh
20.9
kWh
24.4
kWh
Autumn 10.7
kWh
14.3
kWh
17.9
kWh
21.5
kWh
Winter 20.5
kWh
25.0
kWh
29.5
kWh
34.0
kWh
Spring 17.4
kWh
22.2
kWh
27.1
kWh
31.9
kWh

To find out more about how the average household energy usage is calculated, get some energy efficiency tips and compare retail energy prices, visit www.energymadeeasy.gov.au

Total greenhouse gas emissions (tonnes)
x.xxxxxT
Generated for this account:
x.xxxxxT
Same time last year Greenhouse gas emissions saved with a green product for this account:
N/A

For more information on greenhouse gas emissions visit thiscompany.com.au or call us on 13 xx xx.

Your usage and supply details

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National Meter Identifier (NMI)

NMI is a unique number assigned to the electricity meter at your address.

Your NMI can be found on the front or back page of your bill. If you have more than one meter at your premise (for example if you have controlled load supply for hot water or for your pool), there will be more than one NMI listed on your bill.

National Meter Identifier (NMI):
99999999999
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Next scheduled read

Your next meter read will occur on or around this date.

Next scheduled read:
15 November 2014 (+/- 2 business days)
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Last meter read

This is the date the meter was last read (before this current bill).

Last meter read:
10 May 2014
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Tariff name

This is the name of the tariff or plan you are on. If you cannot find this on your bill, you can contact your retailer and ask them. You might also find it on the front page of your bill.

Tariff Name
FlexiSaver Tariff
Electricity usage and supply calculation
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Electricity usage and supply calculation

Depending on your meter type, you may not see all of these types of charges on your bill.

ChargesMeter No.Previous readingCurrent reading
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Actual or estimated meter readings

The retailer will indicate on your bill if you meter reading was an actual or an estimated read. This can be displayed with an:

  • А = actual - This means your usage was recorded through an actual meter read.
  • Е = estimated - This means that your meter was not read, (usually because the meter reader couldn't access it), and the reading has been estimated.
Usage (kWh)
Peak 9952463 68664(A) 69916(A) 1252.00
Off peak 9952463 33995(A) 34623(A) 628.00
Shoulder 1 9952463 23665(A) 24120(A) 455.00
Shoulder 2 9952463 20123(A) 20379(A) 256.00
Controlled load 1256344 15426(A) 15834(A) 408.00
Solar generation 9952463 1621(A) 2574(A) 630.00
Electricity charges: 11 May 2014 - 10 August 2014 (92 days)
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Billing period

This is the billing period for your bill, and is where you can find the start and end date for your bill, that you can enter to compare electricity offers on Energy Made Easy.

Rate $ per kWhTotal $
Peak - first 411 kWh
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Peak usage

Also sometimes referred to as anytime . You may have more than one peak figure, and you may need to add them together to find your total usage. If you are on a single rate offer, you will only have peak or anytime usage.

$0.3124 $128.40
Peak-next 452 kWh $0.3245 $146.67
Peak - next 389 kWh $0.3455 $134.40
Off peak - 628 kWh
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Off peak - Off peak has two meanings:

  1. If you are on a time of use offer, it generally refers to your usage during 'off peak'times.
  2. If you have a separate meter for hot water, or another appliance (such as under floor heating), off peak may refer to this usage on your bill. If you are unsure, contact your retailer.
$0.1250 $78.50
Shoulder 1 - 455 kWh
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Shoulder usage

This is relevant for people on a time of use offer. A shoulder period is the time between the peak and off-peak times, when the rate you get charged is somewhere between the two. You might only have one shoulder period.

$0.2750 $125.13
Shoulder 2 - 256 kWh $0.2365 $60.54
Controlled load - 408 kWh
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Controlled load

If you see controlled load on your bill, it means one of your appliances, such as hot water, or under floor heating, is billed separately to your other usage. Controlled load can also be referred to as dedicated circuit consumption, or off peak. If you are unsure, contact your retailer.

$0.1050 $42.84
Service to property charge - 92 days
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Service to property charge

This is also known as the fixed charge, or daily supply charge. This is a charge that applies for supplying electricity or gas to your premises for each day of your billing period, regardless of how much electricity you use.

$0.5384 $49.53
Total electricity charges (Ex. GST) $766.01
Total electricity charges (Inc. GST) $842.61
SA Solar Feed in Scheme - Block 1 (7.54945 kWh/day) - 630 kWh
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Solar feed in tariffs

If you have solar panels connected, and are on a solar offer, your bill will detail any amounts received from government solar feed in and retailer schemes you are eligible for and which vary from state to state. These will appear as credits (amounts paid back to you) on your bill.

$0.44 $277.20 CR
SA electricity scheme Feed in Tariff - Retailer (7.54945 kWh/day) 630 kWh $0.098 $61.74 CR
Government energy concession
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Government energy concessions

If you are receiving a government energy concession, the concession amount will be displayed as a credit (an amount paid back to you) on your bill.

$0.2750 $41.25 CR

Paying your account

If you choose to pay using a credit card payment option, a 1% (GST inclusive) payment processing fee may apply.

Your account number:
999999
Total amount due:
$462.42
Pay by 28 Aug 14:
$439.30

Your electricity bill contains a lot of information. You might not understand some of the terms in it. This page will help you understand the most important parts of your electricity bill.

Account summary

Your account summary contains a summary of your electricity charges. It can include:

  • the amount you owe
  • amounts you have recently paid
  • overdue amounts
  • adjustments, and
  • discounts and rebates.

National Meter Identifier (NMI)

Your electricity meter has its own National Meter Identifier (NMI) number. The NMI number identifies your property.

If you have more than one meter at your home (for example, if you have controlled load supply for hot water), there will be more than one NMI number listed on your bill.

Retailer contact details

Your retailer is the company that bills you for your electricity. If you have a question about your electricity bill or contract, you should contact your retailer.

Distributor contact details

Some retailers show the distributor’s name and contact details separately. Other retailers show the distributor’s phone number as the ‘Faults and emergencies’ contact number.

When you look at the front page of your bill, your distributor’s contact details are generally on the right hand side. Look just below your retailer’s contact details.

Your distributor owns the poles, wires and meter that connect you to the electricity network. Contact your distributor for faults or emergencies with your electricity.

Next scheduled reading

Your next meter read will occur on or around this date.

Last meter reading

This is the date the meter was last read.

Actual or estimated meter readings

Your bill will state if your usage was based on an actual or an estimated reading of your meter.

An ‘A’ or the word ‘actual’ next to your usage means that your usage is based on an actual reading of your meter.

An ‘E’ or the word ‘estimated’ next to your usage means that:

  • your meter was not read during this billing period, and
  • your usage has been estimated.

If the estimate is too high or too low, your next bill will include a credit or an additional amount to pay. This means you only pay for the electricity you use.

Tariff name

This is the name of the tariff or plan you are on. If your plan name is shown on your bill, it will probably be on the front page. If you can’t find this on your bill, contact your retailer.

Usage and supply charges

Depending on your tariff type, you may not see all of these types of charges on your bill.

Billing period

The billing period shows the start and end date for your bill.

Kilowatt hours (kWh)

Kilowatt hours (kWh) are the measure that is used on your electricity bill. Your total kWh usage shows the total amount of electricity you have used over the billing period.

To compare offers on the Energy Made Easy site using your usage information from a recent bill, enter the billing period.

Peak usage

The term ‘peak’ means:

  • the period where the demand for electricity is greatest, and
  • the usage charges are highest.

If you are on a single rate tariff, you pay the same rate for all the electricity you use. This means all your usage will be under the section for peak usage.

Peak usage is sometimes called:

  • anytime, or
  • flat rate usage.

Check with your retailer for their peak times.

Off peak usage

’Off-peak’ is when:

  • there is less demand for electricity, and
  • the usage charges are lower.

Off-peak is usually:

  • from late evening to early morning during the week, and
  • weekends.

Check with your retailer for their off-peak times.

You will see off-peak usage on your bill if you have a:

Shoulder usage

'Shoulder' usage may be on your bill if you are on a time of use tariff.

Shoulder period is the time between:

  • peak, and
  • off-peak.

The rate you get charged is somewhere between the two. Your electricity contract might have more than one shoulder period.

Check with your retailer for their shoulder times.

For more information on tariff types, see our Which type of tariff is right for you? page.

Controlled load

For some appliances, you can be charged a controlled load tariff like:

  • slab or underfloor heating, or
  • electric hot water systems.

This means that the retailer charges a rate just for that appliance and the energy it uses.

It is usually only for appliances that run overnight or in off-peak times. So controlled load rates are usually lower.

Controlled load is sometimes called:

  • dedicated circuit consumption, or
  • off-peak.

Daily supply charge

This is the cost of getting electricity to your place, even if you don’t use any. It is a fixed amount.

The daily supply charge is also known as the:

  • service charge (or service to property charge), or
  • fixed charge.

Solar feed in tariffs

If you have solar power and are on a solar offer, you might see a credit on your bill.

The bill will show you what you received from:

  • government solar feed-in schemes, and
  • retailer schemes.

Government energy concessions

If you receive a a government energy concession, you will see a credit on your bill.  

Electricity usage comparison

You will see a graph or table on your bill if you live in:

  • the Australian Capital Territory
  • New South Wales
  • Queensland
  • South Australia, or
  • Tasmania.

They show your electricity usage compared to similar sized households in your area.

Some bills have information about greenhouse gas emissions.