Trending towards an Impossibly high Bill - Despite brand new Solar Installation and Solar Saver Plan

rdsz
Conductor
2 Replies 3427 Views

We have a brand new solar installation almost 15kW system, a brand new inverter, a smart meter installed 8 days ago and I switched to the AGL solar savers plan.

 

Our solar installer also told us to make behavioural changes so that maximum usage is done during the day. So we run the dishwasher during the day. Besides, I recently started a new job and hence I'm not at home from 7 am - 8pm. My family does not use heaters/air conditioner, we do not possess a tv and I'm the stingiest guy despite living in a 5 BR house. We also dry our clothes in the sun and take quick short showers and use cold water while washing our hands, and reduced temp setting in our dishwasher. 

 

I was therefore expecting that my 15kW system would generate a credit daily considering that we changed our behaviour by reducing consumption and since we had great cloudless weather!  

 

To my surprise the AGL app shows that our consumption has jumped from 20 kWh before solar to 35kwH after solar and our Solar feedin is only 8kWh. A 15kWH solar system in Sydney after accomodating for orientation and time of year and being generous with efficiency losses should generate atleast 43kWh/day. https://www.solar4ever.com.au/PowerProduction.php

 

This means that according to AGL our daily consumption is 35kwH ( from the gird) - 8kWh ( Solar feedin) + 43kwH( Solar power) = 70 kWh which is a 335% increase in consumption despite actually making changes to reduce our overall comsumption! This is impossible even if the brand new solar is severly underperforming!! 

 

 AGL also has the word "estimate" for both the solar feedin as well as power consumed from the grid! How can the word "estimate" be included when the data comes from the smart meter??   Considering my experience, I intuitively feel that there is something seriously wrong here!! AGL either has a faulty smart meter, or is incorrectly calculating consumption and feed-in and/or creating a situation where customer may make decisions based on erroneous and unreliable data provided by the app. I lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman even before contacting AGL because there is something massively wrong on a very large scale possibly affecting thousand of customers.

8 REPLIES 8
rdsz
Conductor
1 Reply 3409 Views

Update17/6/2023: We called the AGL helpline and the customer care rep said that the app data is incorrect and is an estimate  and the actual consumption on their records is only 9kWh and the feedin is 45kWh. We have asked them to provide everything in writing because app data if coming from a smart meter should not be an estimate but an actual! 

 

I have also scheduled electrical inspections with a reputed electrical company to confirm that there is no electrical leakage and we also discussed the possibility of  installing a test meter. 

There are other AGL customers on this forum who have said that their first bill after installation of a smart meter was very high despite nothing else changing in their house. I’m not waiting for the first bill and have decided to take this up with AGL to get this sorted. If AGL has a history of similar complaints then they should be solving these issues so that new customers do not suffer from the same issues. 

John-T
Powerhouse
1 Reply 3400 Views

Hello @rdsz 

I had an 8.58KW 3Phase System installed last year and I experienced exactly the same thing.

Only difference is the one good thing my installer managed to do was to explain to me that something like this was more than likely to happen. It took about 3 weeks for everything to sort itself out once the meter was configured remotely.

 

I was fully back credited my input to grid back till a day after install.

 

Don't worry I was beside my self as well but everything has been running as it should be ever since.

 

Just after installation including your network & meter configuration will initially almost always throw a spanner in the works. 1 of my neighbours also experienced exactly the same thing after install that you and I have experienced.

 

I put it down to the Energy Distributor & Retailer crossing their T's & dotting their i's though it is heavily dependant on Energy Distributor.

 

Regards

John          

John-T
Powerhouse
0 Replies 3399 Views

As a side note, until all configuration network / meter etc etc is done & finalised you will not get actuals only estimates this was my case and that of another I mentioned in my post above.

 

Regards 

John

rdsz
Conductor
2 Replies 3391 Views

Thanks so much John. This is very helpful and reassuring and your words are appreciated.

I want AGL to provide the right advice, follow up on the complaint and fix everything including their app. Until I get the first bill which is representative of our usage, the intention is to document everything for the benefit of the community.

John-T
Powerhouse
0 Replies 3385 Views

You are most welcome RDSZ, 

 

If everything is not sorted by week 4 after install then chase it up hard.

 

It took me about 3 weeks. Make sure that when you talk to AGL that they back credit your account once everything is sorted.

 

Every cent counts these days. And the cost of living is heading north very hard.

 

I am also in Sydney outer north west and as a rough guide heavily depending on weather cloud cover etc my 8.58KW 22 X JA 390 watt solar panels system" ( Produces ) not exports 30 to 35KW per day in June and last November December I was averaging mid 50KW I did see a hand full of days where I cracked 60KW 61 62 max but my production suffered heavily due to the onslaught of cloud cover and rain and as a result saw 30KW days.

 

And then lately I have had days where my system has only produced about 7KW We are at the mercy of the weather.

 

PS: My Inverter is a 3 phase Fronius 8.2KW

 

Kind Regards

John 

_Mark_
AGL Moderator
1 Reply 3341 Views

Hi there @rdsz, I can take a look at the account for you to see if there is anything I can do for you. I'll send you a private message to get started. Thanks- Mark.

rdsz
Conductor
1 Reply 3334 Views

Hi Mark,

 

Thank you for contacting me. I need to know why the app is showing “estimated” daily information in an era of smart metering. I have contacted EWON so that I can resolve this issue and not receive an impossibly high bill after installation of Solar and smart meter. 

I discussed with EWON situations where the app can lead to consumer protection issues and situations where the customer may make decisions based on unreliable and erroneous data provided via the app. 

In an era of smart metering, as a customer I expect the data ( both consumption as well as solar feed-in to be accurate and largely timely). I don’t want a high bill later and AGL giving the contextual excuse stating that you have provided an app which alerted me of high consumption or stating that it was an “estimated” bill which will be adjusted subsequently. Similarly I don’t want an inaccurate low consumption data followed by a high actual bill thus preventing me from changing my consumption behaviour. Both these situations are advantageous to AGL where a customer either provides AGL with free cashflow or higher revenue. 

I need clear guidance and information on this including written reasons why the app is showing unreliable figures. I have been made to understand by your AGL customer service staff that my actual consumption is much lower and my Solar feed-in much higher.  If this is so why is the same information not provided by the app? 

_Mark_
AGL Moderator
0 Replies 3289 Views

Sometimes meter reads from a smart meter fail to validate, and are sent through as invalid readings. In these cases, even if there are only one or two invalid intervals totalling maybe 30 minutes of usage, we still need to say that your bill is estimated. If a larger amount of the readings aren't valid it may indicate a communications issue with the meter itself for that time period, which we can investigate for you by getting in contact with us, which it sounds like you've done already. We can arrange with your meter data provider to revalidate the readings and follow up.

Thanks,
Mark.