Your Business Power Bill Has A 20% Chance Of Being Wrong

Complaining about energy bills is now a national sport, but do we make the effort to check how much we're actually spending? One study suggests that more than 20 per cent of energy bills sent to Australian businesses contain inaccuracies.

An analysis of bills submitted to energy management company Energy Action by customers over a three-month period found that 21 per cent of those bills were inaccurate in some way. While 13 per cent of customers were overcharged, 8 per cent were actually undercharged. The most common area for errors was in 'line loss' charges, which cover electricity disappearing from the system prior to delivery.

I wouldn't automatically assume that the same error rate would occur in domestic energy bills (line loss isn't charged in the same way for a start), but it hardly fills you with confidence. One key difference with business customers: given the higher spend, you have more negotiating power when it comes to asking for a better deal.

Energy Action


    I saw an article in my local paper a few months back where Origin/Essential/Country Energy/whoever the hell they are this week took a random guess of a local business owners power usage without checking the meter & gave them a $3,000 power bill for a small cafe, for a month or something.

    The power company's excuse for giving an estimate the power box was locked and could not access it, when the shop was open & they could've asked to gain access. Why was it locked you asked? Apparently the local kids were stealing the circuit breakers/flipping the power.

    Just to add, the same company when questioned by my father claimed we were not being over charged for power so he requested they change the meter to make sure it was not faulty and he would pay if it was not faulty, a few weeks later they sent him a cheque for the several hundred dollars they over charged him on the last bill and nothing more was said by them about the issue.

      The networks are allowed to estimate your bill if (for any reason) they cannot access your meter. The meter readers don't have time (nor should they) to knock on doors, go into shops etc, when you are required to provide clear access at all times. If you want to lock a meter box, that's fine, but request a lock from the network. They will provide you with a lock and a key. They have master keys. By the way, it's not a "random guess", it's an estimate based on previous accounts for a similar time of year.

    Read your meter people!

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