Energy Accounts and Billing

Help with your AGL Energy account or AGL online tools.

Help with your AGL Energy account or AGL online tools.

Hot Water Gas Meter ITRON UltraMaXX HW recording higher usage

Conductor

Hi All,

In Feb 2018 Jemena has installed new gas hot water meter for my unit. I live in building with 24 blocks and I am the only person having that meter. Since this meter been installed I am getting very higher usage bill, roughly almost \$400 approx for 90 days. We are only 3 person and hardly use hot water just for shower.

I strongly believe its because of wrong billing which AGL doing. Here is my meter pics with read.

They are using all digits from reading, multiplying by 10, then further multiplying by conversion factor .32. So if my meter reading shows 79.375, they are capturing this bill without decimal 7937.50*10*.32 like this and showing total usage 25400 Usage MJ. And this figure get further multiplying by usage and supply charge @0.029 and giving \$736 which I believe is very high.

Question or Doubt what I have -

1) When my meter reading showing only five digit usage 2 integer digit and 3 decimal digit e.g. 79.375 , refer the link above then why AGL showing that figure in their bill like this 7937.50. Changing from 5 digit to 6 digit and moving decimal position.

2) How do I know whether my meter recording water liter in KiloLiter or just Liter? what this 79.375 number represent. I mean measurement Unit? It shows at the end of number cubic meter? What cubic meter represent and how it should calculated for billing?

3) The usage on meter. Is it water usage or gas usage? what exactly it is as the purpose of this meter is to measure Hot water usage running through GAS.

4) If possible share the details how Digital meter reading should capture and calculated. I already got one link where they are showing how you should read Digital Gas Meter reading but I am more interested how calculation should run.

Regards

Manish

23 REPLIES 23
Conductor

Hi RonR,

You correctly said "They think that if you fill a 10 litre bucket your meter ticks over one unit".

In my case I did 10 liter bucket test and my meter reading moves only 1 digit, very last digit move fast and last second digit only move 1 unit. AGL twice checked with Gemena for my case and both ticket Gemena confirmed there is no reading and calculation problem. Its usage only.

Regards.

Manish

Semiconductor

Thanks at RonR.

Agl can’t make up their their mind on how the meter should be read either.

Whether the bill should show the decimal or not. 2 conflicting responses and keeps asking me to resend read.

Woulx love to know outcome. And I might join the que.

Conductor

I'll hopefully get there in the end!

I live in an apartment - so my water usage is drinking, showering, washing, and dishwasher.

Almost all are at least partly hot water.

According to AGL, I use about as much hot water as 9 people (there are 3 of us).  According to Sydney water I use just over 2 people's water................can you see just by that that it does not add up.

If you are believing that your meter works fine - which is what essentially the previous person is saying, and I'm not disagreeing - then the calculation from there to the bill is wrong.

As I said before, I'm paying almost 2cents a litre.  An average 8 min shower is about 56 litres of hot water (based on a number of hot water tank makers).  So my average shower costs around a dollar.

That means a family of 3 can expect to pay for 3 months at say 4 showers a day, 90 days in a billing cycle, 4x90 - \$360 just for showers. Before dishwashers, washing machines and hot water over the sink etc.

So I get bills between \$550 and \$670 per quarter for 3 people - in an apartment - with no leaks!

I use according to them as I said about 9 peoples hot water - it just does not add up - it is not usage. Or if it is, then the cost is absurdly high.

Switched-on

Hi Ron,

Did you get this sorted out. I'm facing the same problem now after the new meter installed in my property. your reply will  definitely help me in this matter.

Conductor

Unfortunately yes - but it still does not make me happy or fully explain things.

I went to the ombudsman and they looked into it.  I then had a conversation with a nice woman who looked through my past readings and was able to predict (very closely) the reading at the time of the call.

Therefore they find it hard to believe there is a problem with the meter - that I also agree with.

So it appears we use approximately 3 times as much hot water as the average family of 3 (we are a family of 3).  I find that hard to believe, but it seems impossible to prove otherwise.

I also calculated that my hot water cost me almost 2c a litre.  This is unfortunately meaningless as they don't look at hot water based on cost per litre. (but they measure litres to calculate it!! That's what the meter records).  They told me the factor that was being applied to my meter reading to calculate cost was in the typical range (if at the higher end) so my bill made sense to the Ombudsman.

So that leaves nowhere to go - except to look for a better deal on the consumption.

As I live on the 7th floor of a highrise building, if I run a shower at 6am, it actually costs me about 40c just to get the water hot.

So \$1.00 for a shower is a good expectation - 3 people x \$3 x about 90 days in a billing cycle leaves me \$270 before I use hot water anywhere else.  When I lived in a much bigger house my gas bill was always lower and it was gas heated (including two gas open fireplaces) - so it still doesn't add up based on experience, but they can do the numbers and the numbers apparently don't lie.......

Tags (1)
Switched-on

Hi RonR and others,

I’ve noted a few things as per my understanding and experience that I would like to share here:

1. The “new Itron ultramaxx hw electronic meter” for me has a unit of m3 (meter cube) with last three digits grouped. That means 1 m3 = 1000 litres. 1litre of hotwater only tapout will move 1 digit in the meter. (Mine looks like one rn13manish has)

2. I noted if I (family of 3) use Supagas 45Kg bottle it lasted 5 months of hotwater shower+dishwash+laundry (has about 2350 Mj energy) - this was in a HOUSE

3. For apartment unit with hotwater meter, there is a common gas hotwater and “efficiency” of hotwater heat exchanger and vacancy in the apartments affects “pressure factor”. Mine is 3. So I’ve to pay thrice my actual use.

4. To increase my efficiency of use, I set the hotwater mixer under bathroom sink to “max” (DISCLAIMER: only do if you know what you’re doing). Close main hotwater tap and slowly open it to get just enough hotwater for one tap use. To begin cold Morning, before starting shower, I start washbasins hot tap, then open cold tap full for couple seconds, and close cold tap. Hotwater now doesn’t get mixed with cold water and starts quick. I really think your 40c/2c=20 litres must come down to say 2-5 if you want to increase your efficiency.

5. If this trick doesn’t work for you, it will be worth to get Tempering valve checked/replaced. This is a safety device to limit “hotness” of water out of “hot” tap, even when cold tap is totally off. They generally have a life of a few years. Please google for more info on tempering valves, e.g. how they work and which one you have.

6. 56 litres of pure hotwater is too much. Even 60 deg hotwater x 56 litres is too much of shower. Try a 20/30 litre bucketful 55deg C hotwater and a mug to take bath one day to actually see your “offline” use. 20 litres warm water should be more than enough, but I’m trying to think with liberty here with 30litres “pure online” hotwater. My (one person) daily shower use is always exactly between 10-11litre. (I turn off shower when applying soap).

I would love to hear your thoughts,

Cheers.

Conductor

Hi - exactly the same problem here - eye watering readings and bills, that remain otherwise unexplained.  I am wondering if there has been any resolution?  It seems like AGL is the only provider that registers an issue from a web search - I am wondering if other providers have priced the usage for hot water correctly, whereas AGL does not?

Tags (3)
AGL Moderator

Hi Uma!

Welcome to the AGL Community!

Kind regards,

-Nam-

Conductor

Regarding my excessive bills......

The newer meter seemed to produce high numbers - this is just about decimal points it seems.

It can also display different units.....it's all designed to be user unfriendly!

But it seems my usage was always correct.  What had happened to me is that I signed up on a deal, and it expired around the same time as I got the new meter - hence the confusion - big bills and a new meter with a different set of values - leading to total confusion.

No-one ever explained this.  Including the ombudsman - who only stated that the "factor" or whatever they call the mystery number in the bill calculation was on the high side but within an acceptable range.

Well, finally getting that message, I went to another provider who has almost halved my bill.

The minute I tried to cancel my AGL account someone offered me a large discount - which I refused.

Clearly they could have always done this - but they dug in instead of trying to keep a customer.

The moral is that if your bill is high, and your meter checks out OK, get a competitive quote - as I say, almost a 50% saving.

Tags (1)
Conductor

thanks Ron. My issue is that my gas usage for hot water and a stove top (no heating is a massive 177MJ a day, when a standard 2 bedroom home should use 25MJ a day.  The problem is with the stated usage, not the pricing on the plan.  Despite the ridiculous level of stated usage, I have been encouraged to take less showers - really?

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