When signing up to AGL, in order to get the greatest discount possible, I elected to go with a combination of bill smoothing, monthly billing and direct debit.
When I received my first bill I was rather shocked to find my monthly billing amount was approximately $180. I thought this unusually high considering it was just myself and my partner and our 1yo twin girls living at our residence, especially when we were already very energy conscious. However, I was assured by an AGL rep that this was accurate for our household based on the information they had.
Last week, around 12 months on, I received another letter from AGL letting us know that our monthly billing amount had just been reduced to $38!? A MASSIVE, nearly 80%, drop!! Apart from informing us of the price drop, there was very little other information provided and no explanation of WHY our bill had dropped so significantly.
I am assuming this is the result of a recent "actual" meter reading that has established our energy use is in fact much lower than previously thought/estimated, and that the extreme reduced amount is to get us back on par after being so much in credit after paying more than necessary for a full year. But this was in no way communicated in the correspondence I received from AGL.
I also fear that when we do get back to even, our bills will jump back up, again without any warning. This makes it very hard to manage our finances and plan ahead.
I am wondering if any other customers have experienced a similar occurrence and can confirm my theory? And if anyone from AGL can also provide an explanation?
I look forward to your responses.
Solved! Go to Answer
Thanks for getting in touch. You've raised some great questions here - I'm sure other customers will benefit from this info as well.
In regards to your bill smoothing account - the amount that was initially calculated is based on info we had for the area where you live. Once you had been at the residence for 12 months, we took another look at your actual usage history and calculated the new figure. This will be revisited every 6 months and readjusted if necessary, but usually a reconciliation only occurs once a year.
Your monthly bill statements will then provide you with feedback on your actual energy usage (provided you have a digital meter).
Hopefully that answers your questions - get back in touch if you need more info.
To add to this - when your Bill Smoothing amount is reviewed every 6 months, AGL take into account your balance at that point in time. So if you had built up some credit because you were paying a bit too much when you first signed up, your Bill Smoothing amount would need to be reduced for the next year otherwise you would continue to be in credit. It also might need to reduce if you were using less energy too.
The good news is that now you have been with AGL for more than a year, it makes it much more accurate because AGL can look at a full year of seasonable usage when reviewing your amount every 6 months.
Keep in mind that if you had built up some credit and your Bill Smoothing amount reduced because of this, at some point in the future when your credit has been used up, your amount might need to come back up to be in line with your average usage to keep you on track.
Thank you Lauren and Andrew!
It's good to know that my assumption was correct as well as the fact my bills should only get more accurate from here on in.
Can I suggest including this info/explanation in the correspondence that goes out to account holders when their bill smoothing amounts change.
Additionally, when the time comes for my bill smoothing amount to go back up (once I don't have so much credit racked up), can I expect to be notified/warned prior to this?
I had the same thing happen to me years ago only in my case my first bill was over $350 which went down dramaticaly to under $30 in about a year or so.
It turned out the meter was faulty which was replaced. So my bills came in at around $130 after that.
Thanks Steve! Its good to know I'm not the only one this has happened to. Do you recall receiving any documentation at the time that explained this to you? I think its a very confusing thing to be left to the customer to try and get to the bottom of.
I got my first bill at the beginning of June - been in our house 43 days and the new charges were $919! After I got up off the floor, I call AGL for assistance.
I was also told its the bill smoothing - based on estimate - and I'm fine if they estimate my bill smoothing payments based on what others are using in the area - BUT - I'm not happy with receiving an invoice for this estimate - which is all it is. To send me an Invoice is for electricity I haven't used is wrong and I've never had this before and have been with AGL at our previous address for many years.
I'm waiting a week now for a revised account?
I have 3 meters at the house and there are 24 lines on my account? a few actual and the rest "estimates". I can't understand it at all and I've called - 3 times and no satisfaction. I'm trying to run a business and everytime I have to spend 1/2 hour on the phone it just costs me more money.
Very, very frustrating!
We do sincerely apologize for any frustration caused by the billing of your energy account.
We'd be happy to see what's going on with the estimates as well as the mentioned 24 lines of information in your bill, if you could pop us a private message with some account information. Thanks!
New@tweed If you click on my user name (NathanB) it will take you to another page and on the right hand side it will have a 'Contact Me' section, where you can click on 'Send this user a private message'. Hope that helps but if not let me know!