I just got a gas bill for $300 due at the end of this month, and I set up bill soothing to make this more affordable which turned out $68 a fortnight instead. My question is will I still be charged the $300 and then the bill soothing taking effect after this, or does the bill soothing include the existing bill I have for $300 but spread out over the year.
A related question: When are bill soothing numbers re-evaluated? E.g., will it always stay at $68/fortnight, or is this updated based on usage every month/quarter/year. Thanks for claryfing!
All the info you need about bill smoothing is HERE
From my quick read you still have to pay the bill (less any payments made prior to the due date).
However from then on you will pay the smoothing amount every fortnight. The amount may change as the smoothing figure is based on a years amount (whether it be Gas or Electricity).
Sixty eight a fortnight means that your yearly gas bill is expected to be ($68*26) $1768 which equates to $4.85 a day
Having a guess that your last bill was for two months as your daily rate (68/14) is about $4.85 a day.
So if your next bill (after the quarter ) was $438 dollars your smoothing rate would not change ($4.85*90) as it is still $68 a fortnight.
If the bill went to say $520 then the rate would increase (your daily rate would be $5.02 for this bill) so your new rate would be $4.935 a day or $69 a fortnight.
With this system some times you will get a bill that has a credit and other times may be a debit this is due to the fact that the number of pay days in the quarter vary. Sometimes you will have 7 pays sometimes you will have six. However the payment amount should only be half of your smoothing amount ($34 in your case).
Any way no matter what, you should not experience any BILL SHOCK unless you drastically increase your usage. If you know that you have increased your usage, you can always make a supplementary payment to allow for the increase. Say do a bpay transfer of $20-$40 to make up for it.
Hope this helps
Hi Neil, That is helpful, thank you. That figure was actually for one month. It has been freezing in our suburb, and our gas heating cost us 3 x more than usual this month. So my concern was whether the bill soothing will over-charge us (as normal months it only costs like $100 not $300). How long will it take to re-adjust the rate? I.e., do you automatically re-evaluate it at the start of every month or year? Or do I have to write a request to have it re-adjusted? I just don't want to over-pay based on one very high bill for last month.
In the document(s) I pointed to it states:
"If you are signed up to Bill Smoothing, we will review your estimated instalments each billing period. You will be notified, when you receive your bill, of how you are tracking and whether any changes are required to your Bill Smoothing arrangement. "
A sub-document states:
Bill Smoothing works by spreading your estimated yearly energy costs over smaller, regular instalments. For example, if your bills totalled $1200 last year, then your bill smoothing payment would be $100 per month. Bill smoothing also takes into account other factors such as price changes.
When you sign up for direct debit, these payments become automatic. Simply choose your preferred payment dates, make sure you have adequate funds and your bill will be paid on time, every time. You'll also receive review letters to keep you updated on how our estimates match your energy usage.
So based on the above, your yearly payment would be:
11 months @ $100 + 1 month @ $300 or $1400
$1400/12 = $117 or $59 twice monthly which means that your $100 a month is more like $120 a month to get the $68 figure.
If I just use the $120 figure you would be paying $60 twice monthly.The new figures are calculated on the information obtained from "How Bill Smoothing Works".Not having access to your last twelve bills makes the estimation harder to obtain. Also if you have not been with AGL for twelve months they would have a formulae for calculating your 12 month average.
If you are reasonable at maths you should be able to log onto your My Account page and obtain the figures from your previous billing info.
To access My Account click on This Link If you do not have access your can set up the account from the same page.
Remember that this is my opinion and if you are unsure you should contact AGL HERE and either use the CHAT or CALL option.
Make sure you have a Bill handy so you can supply the details that they will ask you.