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How billing works

Understand the basics of electricity and gas billing.

Billing basics

Sometimes we need to estimate your energy usage rather than bill you on actual data. This could be because:

  • the meter reader couldn't access your meter (maybe because of a locked gate, an overgrown shrub or a pet guarding your property)

  • you're on monthly billing with a basic meter

  • your meter is broken or faulty.

Find out more about Estimated bills.

To avoid receiving estimated bills, you should always make sure there's safe and unhindered access to your meter. You can also submit your own meter reading in the AGL app or in My Account.

A billing period can be one, two or three months.

We generate and send your bill to you on the same date each month. For example, if your billing date is on the 15th, we’ll always generate and send your bill on the 15th of the month.

Monthly billing for smaller bills

You can choose to get monthly bills to break bills into smaller payments and make budgeting easier.

If you have a smart electricity meter, we use real usage data to work out your monthly bill. For basic meter customers on monthly billing, up to two out of every three bills can be from an estimate of your usage, based on your usage history and seasonal data. When we receive an actual reading, we adjust your account.

  1. To set up monthly billing in My Account:
  2. Log in to My Account:
  3. Select your name in the top right corner, then Account Settings.
  4. In the Billing and payments menu, go to Monthly billing and select Edit.
  5. Select your account, then choose your preferred bill issue date.
  6. Select Switch to monthly billing to finish.

When energy rates change during your billing period, we do something called ‘pro-rata’ billing to work out your bill. Here’s what that involves:

  1. We calculate your average daily energy usage for the billing period.
  2. We multiply your average usage by the new rate for the number of days you were on the new rate, and multiply your average usage by the old rate for the number of days you were on the old rate.
  3. We add the old rate and new rate usage figures together to make up your bill.

Two similarly sized houses can have very different energy bills. Even if they’re right next to each other, billed for the same time period and paying the same energy rates under the same plans.

This can be because of the way the people use energy, physical factors about the properties, or the number of people living in each household.

To understand more about how you use energy, track your energy usage in My Account or the AGL app. You can also get breakdowns of your usage by signing up for Energy Insights.

For ideas on using less energy to save money, check out our Energy saving tips.

View and download bills

To view and download your latest bill in My Account, go to the Billing tab and select Download your PDF bill. Previous bills are also available for download.

To view and download bills in the AGL app, go to the Billing tab, select a bill, then View PDF.

Tariffs and calculations

A tariff is how you’re charged for your electricity usage. There are different tariff types, and you may be on one or a combination of the following:

  • Single rate - You’re charged at the same rate for the electricity you use no matter what time of day.
  • Time of use - You’re charged different rates depending on the time of day. Peak times are when electricity is in high demand, off-peak times are periods of lower demand, and shoulder rates are between peak and off-peak. You can find your specific tariff times in your bill under New charges and credits, and Usage and supply charges.
  • Controlled load - You may be charged for electricity supplied to a specific appliance, such as an electric hot water system, at a different rate to your other electricity usage.
  • Demand - Demand charges are based on the load you place on the electricity network when there’s high customer demand. The most common demand charges involve measuring your usage over 30-minute intervals during a demand time period (for example, 5 to 9 pm). The highest usage measure for the billing month is used to calculate your demand charge for the entire month.

To learn more about tariffs, visit Electricity tariffs.

Your bill projection in My Account and the AGL app helps you understand the future costs of your next bill.

It's an estimate of what your bill will be at the end of your billing period. It’s based on your electricity or gas usage for the same period last year.

If you’ve recently joined AGL, you’ll only get bill projections if you have a digital meter. Your bill projection will be based on your most recent bill or the average of similar households in your state.

If you have a basic meter, you can improve the accuracy of your bill projection by submitting a meter read.

You can also keep an eye on your cost to date in My Account, or the AGL app. This will tell you the estimated cost from your last bill up until today.

Find out more about how we calculate bill projection and cost to date by visiting Usage calculations.

Your gas meter measures gas usage in cubic meters, but in most states your usage is billed in ‘megajoules’ (MJ) on your bill. If you’re in WA, usage is measured in units, which is the number of megajoules divided by 3.6.

To calculate the megajoules you’ve used in a billing period, we subtract the start read on your meter from the end read. We then multiply this figure by two values - the heating value and pressure factor. These values vary depending on a few things like your location and the temperature. They’re provided to us by your local gas distributor (the company responsible for reading your meter and maintaining the pipes in your area).

For more information on how we calculate your gas usage, visit Usage calculations.

Centralised hot water billing

Centralised (or bulk) hot water systems are common in apartments and townhouses. Each home has its own hot water meter connected to a central hot water system. Homes are charged for the gas used to heat the water based on the usage recorded by their individual meter.

If you’re in Victoria and AGL services your centralised hot water system, AGL’s prices and Hot Water Contract (PDF) will apply.

Learn more about how your hot water usage is calculated

Meters are usually located in a common area such as a hallway cupboard, garage, basement, or behind a ceiling or wall access panel in the foyer or corridor. In some cases, the builder may have installed the meter in your apartment under the sink in the bathroom or behind a hidden access panel in the wall.

On most hot water meters, you’ll see a series of numbers. The black numbers measure whole units and the red numbers measure decimals.

By reading the meter at two different points in time (such as at the beginning of the day and at the end) you can determine what your water usage is for that amount of time. Learn more about How to read your meter.

For ideas on how to save on your gas bill visit Energy saving tips.

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