High bill checklist

Is your bill higher than expected? Our handy high bill checklist can help you understand why.

It can also help with support options if you’re having trouble paying your bill and tips for preventing unexpected high bills in the future.

Hot or cold weather

Weather can have a big impact on your energy use. Queensland is a diverse state, with the top half of the state relying heavily on air-conditioning in summer, and the southern part using heating in winter. To see if the weather’s impacting your bill, you can compare your energy use with the same time last year – you can see this in the graph on the second page of your bill. You can also calculate your cooling and heating costs and get savings tips with our household energy use calculator.

Price change

Each year on 1 July our electricity prices are updated by the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) based on the cost of buying and delivering electricity to customers. We’re required by the Electricity Act to charge the notified prices set by the QCA.

The Queensland Government subsidises the price of electricity for regional Queenslanders to ensure we’re on par with other parts of the state, given the vast geographic distances to deliver electricity across regional and remote Queensland. Learn more about the price changes for residential and business customers.

If you have two lines of prices on your bill for the period covering July, it’s because prices change each year on 1 July. Where the new prices are applied part way through your billing cycle, you’ll see one line showing the old rates for the period prior to 30 June, and another line for the new rates from 1 July onwards. Learn more by visiting our FAQ – Why do I have two lines of prices on my bill?

Longer billing period

Energy bills rarely cover the same exact number of days per billing period. If your bill’s higher than usual, it could be due to a longer billing period. You can find the number of days your bill covers on the second page of your bill under the ‘New charges’ section.

Average daily usage and average daily cost

To compare bills with a different number of days, you can compare the average daily usage or average daily cost. 

You can find the average daily usage on the second page of your bill. The graph on page two of your bill also shows how your average daily usage compared to the same time last year (if applicable). 

You can also calculate your average daily cost by dividing the total new charges on your bill by the number of days in the billing period. 

New charges are made up of the charges for each tariff, plus any service fees. 

You can learn more about the different parts of your bill on our understanding your bill page.

Estimated bill

Estimated bills may be higher or lower than your actual usage. We’ll estimate your electricity use based on your historical data if the meter reader wasn’t able to access your basic meter or if there was a connection dropout with your smart meter. You can tell if your bill has been estimated as you’ll see a message on the second page of your bill in the 'My meter reading and access' section.

If you’ve received an estimated bill and have a basic meter, you can request to provide your own read and get an adjusted bill.

You may also find it useful to compare your average daily usage and cost across two billing periods.

My most recent bill was estimated:

If your most recent bill was estimated due to dogs, you can view and update your dog details in My Account.

Once you’ve received a bill based on an actual read, you can use the calculation below to find out your average daily usage and cost across the two consecutive billing periods.

My second most recent bill was estimated:

If you’ve previously received an estimated bill, and have since received a bill based on an actual read, the most recent bill may be higher or lower than usual to correct the estimate.

You may find it useful to compare the average daily usage and cost across the two billing periods, as an actual read has been used at the start and end of the billing periods when placed one after the other.

To work out the average cost per day across the two billing periods:

  1. Add the new charges from each bill together – you can find these on the second page of your bill
  2. Divide the total new charges by the total billing period days
  3. Add the number of days in the billing period for each bill together – this can also be found on the second page of your bill

For example:

Bill 1 (estimated bill) has new charges of $600 and a billing period of 90 days.

Bill 2 (actual bill) has new charges of $750 and a billing period of 92 days.

  1. $600 + $750 = $1350
  2. 90 + 92 = 182 days
  3. $1350/182 = $7.42 per day

You can learn more about the different parts of your bill on our understanding your bill page.

More people at home

If friends or family come to stay, you’ll notice that your bill will increase. This is due to extra meals being cooked, more showers being taken, the fridge being opened more etc. This is why you may also notice a spike if the kids have been home over the holidays.

More time spent at home

If you’ve been spending more time at home (e.g. working from home, spending more time cooking/dining at home instead of going out, watching TV instead of going out), you’ll notice that your bill will increase. This is due to extra meals being cooked, appliances being used for longer, the fridge being opened more etc.

Changes in appliances

New appliances

When replacing an appliance, it’s important to understand the ongoing costs. For example, a new big screen TV may cost more to run than your old one. Check out our appliance running cost calculator and appliance energy tips for more information.

Faulty appliances

When appliances are on their last legs they cost more to run. For example, a fridge that has cracked or broken seals has to work harder to keep your food cold. Keeping your appliances in good working order can save you a lot on your bills.

Rebates

We offer a range of government rebates to help with the cost of electricity. You can check if you’ve received any rebates by looking at the second page of your bill under the ‘New credits’ section – ‘Rebate and other credits’. If you don’t have a rebate applied and think you should, you can visit our support programs page to check your eligibility, apply or update your concession details.

Fees for work performed

If you’ve recently had work performed on your electricity connection, such as a meter upgrade from single to multiple phases or solar installation, the charges for this work will be invoiced to your via your electricity bill. You can see the name of the charge and the amount on the back of your bill under the New charges section - Other charges.

If you have solar, one charge that will always appear is the Meter Services Charge. This charge is set by the Australian Energy Regulator and covers the cost of providing your meters and the ongoing costs of operating and maintaining your meters.

You can learn more about the different parts of your bill on our understanding your bill page.

Struggling to pay your bill?

If you’re having trouble paying your bill, we’re here to help. We have a range of options that can help with managing your account online through My Account including:

You can also compare tariffs to make sure you’re on the one that suits you best, or find a range of home energy tips on our website.

Tips for preventing high bills – for homes

Track your usage

You may find it helpful to track your usage by taking your own meter reads. Visit our how to read your meter webpage for information about different meter types and how to read them.

Help made for you

Our help made for you webpage has lots of great tips and resources that can help with managing your bills and home energy use.

Tips for preventing high bills – for businesses

My Account featuring Energy Analysis

With My Account featuring Energy Analysis you can check you’re on the best rate for your business, get budget alerts, track your usage and more. Simpler, easier, better – register for My Account today.

More choice and value

Our more choice and value webpage has lots of great resources that can help with managing your bills and business energy use.