Estimated bills happen when we estimate your gas or electricity consumption based on your previous usage pattern.
Estimated bills have the words ‘estimated reading’ under the pricing calculations on your bill. If these words aren’t there, your bill is from an actual meter reading.
What causes an estimated bill?
Sometimes, your distributor can’t read your meter. When this happens, they estimate your meter reading, based on your previous usage. This estimate is sent to us and shows on your bill as an ‘estimated reading’.
After an estimated bill is sent, the distributor schedules an actual reading for the next billing period. Once your meter has been read, we can find out what your actual consumption was in your last billing period. This makes sure that over the two billing cycles you only pay for the energy you’ve actually used.
For customers with smart meters, a reading is taken every 30 minutes and sent electronically to us. This data is aggregated for the billing period and included on your EnergyAustralia account
What happens when you miss several meter readings in a row?
You’ll get several estimated bills in a row, which could mean you pay more for your energy use than you need to.
Once your distributor can read your meter, if we’ve:
- Overestimated your bills – we’ll send you one or more new bills to replace the estimated ones.
- Underestimated your bills – you may have to pay the difference or be rebilled.
You can avoid estimated bills by making sure your distributor can access your meter when they come to take a reading.
Under our conditions and pricing and the regulations in your state, you are responsible for providing safe, unhindered access to the meters on your premises.
Your distributor makes every effort to access your meters. If they can’t read your meter you may have to pay extra charges.
How to not get an estimated bill
- Find out where your gas and electricity meters are located and, if possible, make them more accessible for your next scheduled read date.
- Plan ahead
- Find the date of your next meter reading on your most recent bill.
- Make sure your distributor can access the meter that day or call us to discuss an alternative meter reading date (a cost may apply).
Under our conditions and pricing and the regulatory framework in your state, you're responsible for providing safe, unhindered access to the meters on your premises.
Sometimes, meter readings can't be successfully retrieved from your meter. In such cases, the meter data is estimated by the distribution network based on the previous usage for your site. This information is sent to us and will show on your account as an estimated bill.
What happens if you miss several meter readings in a row?
Firstly, you'll receive several estimated bills in a row, which could mean you pay either more or less than you need to.
Once we're able to do a proper meter read, if we've:
- Overestimated what you owe – you'll receive a credit to your account
- Underestimated what you owe – you'll have to make up the difference in the next billing period
All electricity meters should be read four times a year. Normally your gas meter should be read six times a year in Victoria, or four times if you're in South Australia, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales.
While every effort is made to access your meters, if your distribution networks are unable to read your meter three times or more in a year (five times for gas meters in Victoria) your account may be closed. However, we'll send you letters to inform you of any actions before closing your accounts.
How to avoid receiving estimated accounts
- Find out where your gas and electricity meters are located and, if possible, make them more accessible.
- Plan ahead
- You'll find the date for your next meter reading located on your most recent bill.
- You can contact us at least three business days before this date to confirm the scheduled reading so you can arrange for access to the meter that day; or call to discuss your options for an alternative meter reading (a cost may apply).
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You can register now at My Account.
We use data collected from a sample of our customers, across all states in which we operate, and who have been with us for at least 9 months. We have calculated the total energy costs of similar households from the hundreds of thousands of customers sampled and divided that sum by the total number of customers. Using that as a base we have calculated the approximate energy costs for similar households for each month/quarter.
We then apply the rates for your zone, service charges, and any discounts which come with the plan you select. All these can differ from area to area, state to state, and in some cases even from winter to summer.
The simple part is that we do all the calculating. Our aim is to provide you with an indication of what customers of similar households living in your area could expect to pay on average per month/per quarter. It should not be used as an official quote. The amount you actually pay will be based on your individual energy usage.
If you just need an extra week or two to pay a typical bill you can request a payment extension through:
We will automatically adjust the due date. You’ll just need to enter your account details and some information that can be found on your current bill. Contact us if you’re having greater difficulty paying your bill and would like to discuss your options.