A bill from your electricity supplier could be as much as $1,200.
It could also be more.
A new report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) says most customers don’t know what they’re paying and it’s costing them more.
“It’s very common to get a bill that’s between $600 and $1.00, which is probably a very conservative estimate of what the consumer should pay for the service,” AEMO’s chief executive officer, Alan Brown, said.
“In some instances the consumer is getting less than what they paid for the electricity.
And in other instances, the consumer may not be getting enough.”
The AEMEO’s latest survey of 2,000 Australian households found many consumers don’t understand what the average monthly bill for a household is and they’re not paying for the right service.
“If you’re not getting the correct amount of service, you might be getting the wrong amount of power,” Mr Brown said.
The survey also found consumers were more likely to complain about their bills than they are about the prices charged for their electricity.
Mr Brown says many consumers are confused about how much they’re actually paying.
“When you go into your electricity company and ask about your power usage, they might say, ‘well, you pay about $500 a year’ or ‘you pay about half that’,” he said.
Consumers don’t get a fair deal from their electricity provider “You know, they have the data, and they have to put it on your bill.”
So why do so many people complain about bills?
It’s not the fault of the customer AEMS data says that most consumers are getting a good deal from the electricity provider.
The report found most customers were getting a full rebate on their electricity bill.
“The data show that most customers pay about 10 per cent of their total electricity bill in rebates,” Mr Smith said.
That’s because the electricity is being used for energy conservation projects, and because rebates are paid in addition to a standard electricity rate.
But the AEMs data suggests many consumers may not realize how much electricity is actually being used.
“A lot of times when you get a rebate, the electricity company has no idea that the rebate has been paid for,” Mr Thompson said.
He says many people are surprised when they get their electricity bills, because they usually have no idea how much their electricity usage actually is.
“That’s a bit of a big surprise because you think you’re paying less for your electricity, but you’re actually getting the same amount of electricity as before,” Mr Thomas said.
Energy conservation projects also make a difference.
The AemEO report found that a third of households have solar panels on their roofs, and one in four households are getting solar power through the state government’s Renewable Energy Target.
“Many households who are not getting a rebate because they’re using a small amount of energy will find that they’re being rebated because of the power that they are generating,” Mr Black said.
Mr Thompson says there is an opportunity to address this problem.
“I think the government should be more proactive in how they’re setting up solar panels, because a lot of energy that is going to go to the grid is not being used at all.”
For people who are being charged more than the average, there are some options.
The energy retailer Choice, which runs the largest supermarket chain in Australia, is offering consumers $250 a year off their electricity prices.
The rebate applies to a number of factors, including the price of the product and the time of year.
It also includes rebates for solar panels and other energy saving measures, and it has a $50 rebate for people who pay with credit card.
Consumers can also use the rebate to reduce their energy bills.
Choice’s website has a number on the right hand side of the screen, and you can apply online.
But you have to be logged into a website, and the company does not allow customers to cancel the rebate or cancel it within a 12-month period.
The only way to get the full rebate is to pay for it with a monthly payment from your utility company.
AEMA’s survey also shows a significant increase in the number of people switching to rooftop solar power.
Of those surveyed, half said they are switching to solar.
“One in five Australians now have rooftop solar installed, and that’s a big increase over a year ago,” Mr Thomson said.
But it’s a lot harder to do than people realise.
“There are some people who think, ‘Well, I know what I want to do with the energy I’m generating,'” Mr Brown explained.
“They may want to use it for cooking, for heaters, or they might be looking for energy saving.”
The report suggests that in some instances, a residential customer might get a small rebate if they have a solar panel on their roof.
But for people whose electricity bill