High cost for no reason and impossible to send readings

Toni_MoretonBay
Semiconductor
1 Reply 290 Views
  • I received my first bill at the new address and the amount is not even close to reality. We are two people who spend all day outside. We practically just slept in the house. And the bill came to 800 dollars. Today 25/Jan/24 I tried to use the app and the website and both do not allow me to send. It says the service is not eligible. I'm trying to avoid another absurd bill like the previous one. Someone explain to me: I can't send the readings and will I end up paying these unrealistic bills?
  • I would like an answer to make a decision whether to continue using AGL's services or whether I should look for a different company.
    • Waiting for response.
8 REPLIES 8
NeilC
Powerhouse
2 Replies 251 Views

@Toni_MoretonBay 

 

You have a smart meter and it is not possible to send meter readings.

You can compare your current readings with the readings on your bill as a check.

 

If you really interested I suggest you go to your meter box every day about the same time, write down your readings and compare your usage with what is shown on the APP or on your My Usage page.

Cheers Neil


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Toni_MoretonBay
Semiconductor
2 Replies 249 Views

@NeilC 

 

I researched on the internet what a smart meter is... And those two analog meters don't look anything like that.

Another thing that seems strange to me is that the App doesn't show any consumption reading, I've been using it for almost 4 months.

 

[Removed screenshot including personal information]

 

And every time I try to send a reading the app gives an error message. On the billing invoice itself it is written that due to lack of reading, the amount was calculated by estimate. 

Any ideas on how to send the readings?

Look below at the clocks in the power box 

PXL_20240124_102747806~2.jpg

Thank you for your time.

 

NeilC
Powerhouse
1 Reply 239 Views

@Toni_MoretonBay 

Toni,

Please accept my apologies, I was using the assumption that the error was caused by having a smart meter.

 

Now, the meter you have shown reads 918714, which I would assume is your peak meter. The second meter, which you did not show, would have a lesser reading and would be your controlled load meter.

 

Knowing the long wait times for phone contacts, you could try using chat to convey the readings or try using the web interface as described on this help page:

https://www.agl.com.au/help-support/energy/meters-and-reads/reads/submit-a-meter-read

 

Failing that, you can use email or chat as described on this help page: CONTACT US to interact with AGL.

 

The trouble with analogue meters is that they must be manually read, the time between reads is not at the 90 day rate and can be affected even these days by Covid, the flu or a number of other medical situations.

 

If you live in a house access to the meter may be a problem, including having a dog, a friend of mine has a lovely dog and the standard gas and electricity readers simply chat over the fence to the dog, open the gate, give the dog a pat and go and do their job.

 

When I was there last (I live in SA, they in Vic) a different meter person pulled up, saw the high fence, heard a dog bark and left.

 

They rang their Electrical Supply company and the supervisor came round the next day and read the meter. I spoke with him and he said that it was noted for the property that there was a friendly dog and he came round to verify the fact.

 

Personally, I would suggest that you ask for a smart meter to be installed and  once properly setup, you will be able to see you daily usage and have a wide choice of plans available to you.

 

Be aware though, that when you have it installed, you may not be put on the best plan available. Stay away from DEMAND plans, go for a TOU (Time of Use plan) so that you can better mange your household electrical usage.

 

By the way I see that you blacked out your meter number but failed to cover-up your address.

 

If you click on the three vertical dots next to LIKES you can edit the message and delete the screen shot.

 

Hope this helps.

Cheers Neil


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Lester
Powerhouse
0 Replies 229 Views

I too thought it must have been a smart meter install, was waiting for an AGL rep to contact the Toni here to check.

 

As it is an analogue meter, ensure a last reading was taken for the previous occupier (if not a new home).

It would have been good to take a photo when you first moved in, to compare to the first bill.

 

Can you see an 'estimated' read on your bill ? Or bills as it's been months ?

Normally it would be in everyones interest to get actual readings by the supplier or by the occupier at least every 2 or 3 bills if there is a reason whey your meter can't be read as normal (monthly or quarterly ?).

 

Further to Neils excellent reply re analogue / switching to a smart meter . . .

 

I would look at all plans available to you very carefully before switching to a smart meter, once you change you can't go back !

This is all based on location in Australia, state to state, competition, tariffs for your region, etc.

 

A flat rate with CL is good for many people, especially those away from a home during day solar soak cheaper shoulder rates (again, if applicable in your location), and using most power during peak times, when TOU is usually higher that single tariff rates, usual location disclaimer, you must check your situation, location rates, electricity use habits, etc.

 

It can be very confusing, hmmmm . . . but worth getting on the right plan for your location / situation.

 

edit typo

David_AGL
AGL Community Manager
0 Replies 202 Views

Thanks for your assistance here, Neil.

Caban
Stellar
1 Reply 174 Views

@Toni_MoretonBay 

 

I agree with what Neil has posted below. He does make one assumption, that you have two analogue meters. This may be the case, but as you have only shown one, then that may be it. If so then you will pay a flat rate for all your electricity consumption.

Do you have a second meter?

How do you heat your hot water? (Solar, Gas, Electric)

Do you have Air Conditioning?

Do you have a Pool, Spa or both?

 

These things can all make for a nasty surprise at Bill time.

Toni_MoretonBay
Semiconductor
1 Reply 170 Views
Hi,

In fact, I only put a photo of one meter, I have two. The thing is: every
time I try to send the readings, the App gives an error message. This way I
am paying a bill based on statistics and not on the actual amount I use.
Two people who spend all day outside the house, little use of air
conditioning... the value is very far from reality.
I will try to contact AGL and try to resolve this issue. If not, I'll look
for another company.

Thank you everyone for the information and help.
Caban
Stellar
0 Replies 158 Views

@Toni_MoretonBay 

 

Hi Toni,

 

Having two meters means you have a controlled load supply. This is at a lower cost (off peak) but is not always available. It is usually used for things like the Off Peak Hot Water Service. I used to have my Solar HWS booster and the pool pump connected to the controlled load. When I got rid of the pool and installed a Solar System with Batteries I realised it was more economical to have Time Of Use (TOU) metering.

No matter which company you select for supply you need to get to terms with your consumption as, while packages do vary, they are all expensive if your consumption is high.

Things you should take into account are;

 

Most split cycle air conditioners use power all the time, even when they are turned off, unless you switch them off from the meter box. They can consume 60W up to 120W each, so if you have a few of them that can really add up.

 

Fridges and Freezers use a fair bit of power and this can vary depending on the model and age of the unit. Often an old fridge is used as the Beer Fridge and that can consume more than the main unit in the kitchen. Those big twin door model with the Ice Dispensers etc can be a big load too.

 

Waterbeds are also quite the constant load but they are less popular now then they used to be.

 

If there are any incandescent or halogen lights being used they produce much more heat than light. A change to LED will cut down some consumption there.

 

Items that can also bump up the bills are things like Pressure Washers, Workshop Machinery, Washing Machines Clothes and especially Clothes Dryers.

 

To work out what is going on you need to do some detective work. Neil pointed out above how to read your analogue meters to work out a daily consumption. Remember you will have two rates, one for each meter. Then each meter will also have a daily connection charge. This will give you the data to work out where you stand. If you need help just ask here.

 

Another item which could assist is an inline power meter. They are not too expensive to purchase. This can but used to check the power consumption of individual items. Then you can work out if that old fridge is costing more than it's worth.

 

When you have a good idea of your Power Consumption you can then make plans to make it more economical. It may be worthwhile updating some appliances or reducing the use of others. Looking at installing Solar and Batteries may be a  good move too. These decisions can only be made rationally if you have the data. Just changing to a new supplier and hoping that will solve things is unlikely to be a solution. You also need the data if you suspect your meter is inaccurate (which is rare).

 

As mentioned above the Manual Read option is only available if you have some form of digital meter.

 

By the way I have done pretty much what I have laid out above an now my bills are close to zero each quarter, so it can work.

 

Tony