Leading energy retailer, EnergyAustralia, has this week launched a campaign to persuade customers to enrol for eBilling as an alternative to receiving paper bills, which beginning 6 April, will accompany a $1.69 fee to cover the increased costs of production and postage.
Those exempt from the charge, while still receiving paper bills will include:
- any customer who falls within a vulnerability category – this includes concession-card holders as well as those on the EnergyAustralia EnergyAssist program, which is dedicated to supporting customers going through a period of hardship.
- some customers – including those in New South Wales and some in Queensland – where state legislation around paper bills applies.
Mark Collette, EnergyAustralia’s Chief Customer Officer said:
“A paper bill is 2,000% more expensive to produce than an electronic one. We don’t believe it’s right that the customers who use our eBilling platform should contribute to the cost of customers who choose to receive a paper bill. The good news is, customers still have time to avoid the fee and benefit from the convenience of eBilling.
“The decision several years ago to remove the paper bill charge was done with the best of intentions in the belief we could absorb the costs. Since then, the cost of sending nearly 12 million sheets of paper has gone up, today making it unsustainable and no longer fair.
“From 6 April those who choose a paper bill will now cover the cost of this themselves – we hope they understand the decision being made. EnergyAustralia will not make any profit from this charge and vulnerable customers will be exempt.
“We have made investments in our eBilling platform since its launch in 2006, and more broadly our IT systems of late to improve the experience customers have dealing with us. By using eBilling we are confident customers will find it easier to pay and manage their account, with added benefits that allow them to keep track of their energy usage.”
Notes to editors:
- The majority of total EnergyAustralia residential customers have already chosen eBilling.
- It costs $1.69 to produce, pack, print and send a paper bill, but just $0.05 to produce an electronic one.
- The $1.69 charge will apply from 6 April 2020. This is cost reflective; EnergyAustralia will not make any profit from the introduction of the charge.
- Customers can easily avoid this fee by visiting energyaustralia.com.au/ebill
- The benefits of EnergyAustralia’s eBilling platform includes downloading and printing your bill, ‘pay from anywhere’, usage summaries with charts and past usage and access to previous bills, and online live chat.
- Since 2016 the cost of sending a paper bill has increased 20.50%. In dollar terms, this is 0.205 cents (21 cents) per paper bill.
- Most energy companies in Australia charge for paper bills, with EnergyAustralia’s $1.69 being one of the lowest charges in the market.
- At the beginning of this year more than 800,000 EnergyAustralia residential customers had enrolled for eBilling. The business will continue encouraging the move so more customers can avoid the fee when it’s introduced.
- From 6 April 2020 instructions on how EnergyAustralia customers can enrol for eBilling will now permanently be shown on paper billing in Victoria, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and Queensland.