Are you like millions of Australians who simply check the total amounts on the bill and keep paying them perennially? There are many who would check their usage and other metrics provided in the bill. But very few Australians are proactive with assessing their bills, plans and if they are making the right choices as far as plans and providers go.
Let us delve into the household bills and truly understand what they show us.
- You should note how gas and power is measured and priced. Electricity consumed is always measures in kW or kilowatts. 1 kW is a thousand watts of electricity. Operating a 1000 watt appliance for one hour will consume 1 kWh or kilowatt-hour of electricity. The cost of power or electricity is per kWh. Let’s say you pay 22 cents per kWh. Using 50 kWh per day will cost you $11 a day. Gas is measured in MJ or mega-joules. That is a million joules. One hour of using a 10 MJh appliance consumes 10 mega-joules or MJ. Here again, gas is measured per MJh or mega-joules per hour.
- Now, there is a standard layout or format of most bills but retailers or providers can make their own changes. So you have to study the bill from your utility provider to know the specifics. Typically, there is an average daily usage stating the total usage and daily usage for a given bill cycle. It would be stated in kWh for power and MJh for gas. You would have average cost per day for the same bill cycle. The charges would be broken down, as in peak and off peak, fixed and variable charges, meter charges, GST and rebates. The fixed charges are supply charges and they don’t change within a bill cycle or unless you are notified. Variable charges would be based on actual usage.
- Once you understand the bills and various charges, you would be able to judge if you are paying more unnecessarily when there are options to switch and save. Find new ways to save on gas and electricity, look into greener methods to keep your home warm or cool and, most importantly, investigate where the bulk of your utility usage goes into.