How to read a power bill

August 2, 2018


How to read a power bill.

Utility bills in general are a pain, something we all dread but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Electricity bills (once you understand what you are looking at) are fairly simple to read and figure out
how much power you have used and how much you are paying for it per Kilowatt-hour (kWh).
As electricians in the Bendigo / Reginal Victorian area we often receive calls from clients trying to get
a better understanding of their power bill.

The complexity of your electricity bill is dependent on the amount of meters you have installed in
your meter box.

In most recent domestic household installations there is only one meter making reading your
electricity bill fairly simple. Over the years there have been many different meter arrangements,
with separate metering for installations with the likes of floor heating and in some cases climate
saver tariffs for air-conditioning units.
If you have multiple meters you will have multiple readings.
For example:
What most single meter power bills will look like on the back page of a electricity bill.


Your electricity supply details.


Supply address: 38 Piper Lane East Bendigo
Supply period: 28th Jan 2018 to 27 Apr 2018 (90 days)
NMI: 123456789
Meter no.       Read type          kWh
A1234567        Actual                  440.447

New charges and credits


Usage and Supply Charges          Units                   Price           Amount
Peak                                                   440.447kWh       $0.29            $127.72
Supply charge 90 days                                                 $1.29            $116.10


For multi meter arrangements the bill will look a little more like this.

Your electricity supply details.

Supply address: 38 Piper Lane East Bendigo
Supply period: 28th Jan 2018 to 27 Apr 2018 (90 days)
NMI: 123456789
Meter no.                                        Read type                      kWh
A1234567                                         Actual                              440.447
B1134567                                         Actual                              18.45
B1114567                                         Actual                              215.246

This bill shows three meters with a total usage of 674.143 kWh. 

Each meter can have the kWh valued at different rates depending on the type of meter.


Whatever meter arrangement you have your bill can be broken down easily.
Look for the section that shows the charges and credits to your account it will be similar to what’s
printed below.


Usage and Supply Charges              Units                     Price            Amount
Peak                                                        840.447kWh         $0.29           $127.72
Supply charge                                        90 days                 $1.29           $116.10

The Kilowatt-hours (kWh) and rate at which they are charged at is underlined in red text as well as
the supply charge. The supply charge is what it costs to supply your business or household with
electricity per day. The bill above shows that it costs $1.29 a day to supply electricity to this
customer. The rate in which the kWh’s are charged is at 29 cents. These are the two main items that
determine how much your electricity bill will be.
At the time of writing this (August 2018) the cheapest rate we could find for domestic connections was
17c a kWh! As you can see that is significantly cheaper than what this bill above shows (which is an
actual rate being charged by one of the more expensive electricity retailers.)
If they connection above were getting charged 17c a kWh and not 29c they would be saving
themselves $100.85 on their bill.
The cheapest supply charge we could find was 92c a day. With the reduced supply charge and the
kWh rate the total savings would be $134.15.


These figures are taken from a one person household, family households can consume upwards of
2,000kWh’s in a 90 day period. So the implications of making sure you are paying the best rates for
your electricity is going to be greater the more people you have under your roof!


We hope this helps those who find it difficult to figure out how much they are getting charged for
their electricity usage. :)


If you do have high electricity usage and you have tried your best to curb your consumption. A good

option to subsidise your electricity usage is the installation of grid connected solar panels, with the
provision of being able to easily incorporate battery storage in the future.
If this is an option you have been looking at please feel free to send Kris an email
( or a call on (0400910181) we are able to design a system to meet your
household needs.

Bendigo Electricians, Point Lonsdale Bellarine peninsula

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