Three tips for reading your energy bill

Everyone has felt the sting of electricity prices and hefty bills - some even shockingly high! In this day and age, saving money is a priority, and so it can pay great dividends to learn every trick in the book that there is in order to save some extra dollars and cents.

One thing that you can do to make sure you're paying as little as possible for your energy bill is to read and interpret your bill correctly.

It seems so simple, but many Australians are losing money because they are skimming over their power bills and not realising that they may be being overcharged.

Research commissioned by Make It Cheaper has shown that around 11 per cent of consumers have been unhappy with their energy provider because of inaccurate billing. That statistic equates to around 900,000 households in Australia.

As well as this, only a quarter of respondents say they have queried a bill in the last twelve months, despite the fact that 75 per cent believe their electricity bills have increased in that time.

To help you read your power bill thoroughly, here are three handy tips that might be able to save you some extra cash.

One - check the bare basics

Is your power bill estimated or has your meter been specifically read? If your reading has been estimated this should be indicated and there should be a reason given.

Look out for the overall number of kilowatts you've used, and then the amount your home uses per hour on average. Does it seem outlandish when it comes to previous bills, or compared to your bills from the same time last year? If you have any questions, contact your energy retailer.

Two - review your plan

Are you on the right plan for your needs? Sometimes, for whatever reason, consumers can find themselves on a plan that isn't really working for them, or is out of date with their circumstances. It's simple to find out what kind of plan will be the most cost effective for you through the use of a free electricity comparison service.

Fixed-rate plans, high-use and low-use plans and many other options are available.

Three - know at what times you're being charged certain rates

Check your fixed and variable rates and tariffs. For instance, if you use most of your electricity in off-peak hours, you may be eligible to benefit from a cheaper rate.

In addition, if you've chosen for some of your energy to be sourced from renewable technology (for example solar or wind farms) you may need to pay a premium.

Posted by Matthew Cole